By Bay City News Service
A former offensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers has been charged with assaulting his ex-boyfriend during an argument over soy sauce and underwear outside a Menlo Park restaurant last year.
Kwame Harris, 30, appeared for a pretrial conference Monday in San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City, where he faces one felony count of domestic violence and one count of assault causing great bodily injury, Assistant District Attorney Al Serrato said.
Harris, who played for the 49ers for five years starting in 2003, and played one year with the Oakland Raiders in 2008, pleaded not guilty to all charges shortly after his arrest in August 2012.
On Aug. 21, Harris and Los Angeles resident Dimitri Geier were dining at Su Hong restaurant in Menlo Park before heading to San Francisco International Airport where Geier was supposed to catch a flight, Serrato said. The two men had been romantically involved previously and had lived together intermittently in Harris' Palo Alto home, Serrato said.
During the meal, Harris allegedly became angry when Geier poured soy sauce on a plate of rice, according to a lawsuit filed by Geier in October in San Mateo County Superior Court.
The argument "escalated" and moved outside the restaurant, where Harris allegedly tried to pull down Geier's pants and accused him of stealing his underwear, Serrato said. Harris then pinned Geier against a glass wall of the restaurant and hit him several times in the face and head, causing a compound fracture around the victim's eye socket, Serrato said.
Geier was taken to O'Connor Hospital in San Jose and eventually had surgery in which a metal plate was implanted in his face, prosecutors said. Harris drove off after the alleged attack and was arrested at his home later that day.
An attorney for Harris did not immediately return a call seeking comment today. Harris remains out of custody on $75,000 bail. A criminal trial is scheduled to begin in San Mateo County Superior Court on April 29.
In his lawsuit, Geier is asking to have his medical expenses covered and is seeking unspecified damages. Geier's attorney Craig Charles said his client continues to suffer the effects of the assault, and that he may require future surgery. "He went through and continues to go through extreme pain in his face," he said.
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