Thursday, December 20, 2018

Affidavit: KU football player Pooka Williams allegedly punched a woman in the stomach in domestic battery incident

Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr. jumps over a teammate to gain more yards against Oklahoma State on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.

Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr. jumps over a teammate to gain more yards against Oklahoma State on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.


University of Kansas football player Pooka Williams allegedly punched a woman in the stomach in an incident that led to his arrest on suspicion of domestic battery earlier this month, according to a Douglas County District Court affidavit obtained by the Journal-World on Thursday.

On Dec. 6, the victim in the case told a KU police officer that Williams, whose full name is Anthony Ray Williams, punched her in the stomach and grabbed her throat around 12:30 a.m. Dec. 5 when they were at Stouffer Place Apartments, 1835 Ousdahl Road.

During the interview, the officer found the victim had bruises on her arms and side, according to the affidavit. She also showed the officer text messages from Williams admitting to punching her in the arms.

The officer interviewed Williams, who reportedly said that he pushed the woman when he saw her in a room with other men at the apartment building. Both Williams and the victim said they were in an intimate relationship.

KU police arrested Williams at the KU Public Safety Office, 1501 Crestline Drive, and he was booked into jail at 3 p.m. Dec. 6.

Williams spent the night in jail and made his first court appearance Dec. 7 in Douglas County District Court. He was formally charged with domestic battery, a misdemeanor.

His attorney, Hatem B. Chahine, entered a not guilty plea on Williams’ behalf. A prosecutor said Williams did not have prior criminal history.

Judge James T. George set a $1,000 bond for Williams and ordered him to not make contact with the victim or return to her residence. George scheduled Williams’ next appearance for 9 a.m. Jan. 9.

KU football coach Les Miles said on Dec. 7 that he was aware of a reported incident involving Williams.

“We are taking these allegations very seriously,” Miles said. “We have suspended Pooka from all team-related activities pending further investigation.”

Williams is a freshman running back from New Orleans who arguably became the face of the team during the 2018 season, winning several weekly and seasonlong awards for his performance on the field.

Editor's note: This story has been edited to correct a time that had been misstated by police in their arrest affidavit. The incident at Stouffer Place Apartments occured at 12:30 a.m. Dec. 5, 2018, according to Cheryl Wright Kunard, assistant to Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson.


Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 11 months ago

Bye Pooka, thanks for all that you did for us while you were here. Dont need a pos on the team much less in society.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 11 months ago

This is a learning/growing experience for the young man. Sounds like something which will ultimately end up in some sort of diversion program and should he stay out of trouble for the near future should be just a blip on the radar.

I'm not making lite of domestic battery, but this is a misdemeanor case where it sounds like a young man struck a young woman out of passion but not with the intention to harm but rather to threaten. It's a serious situation and is being handled as such, but this is not Ray Rice or Joe Mixon.

I think that he ultimately will be given a second chance based on the information in this article. Another screw up, then he's toast.

Andy Tweedy 1 year, 11 months ago

Except it basically is Ray Rice, just didn't happen on film. Ray Rice was a very popular member of the community and the team and had no prior or subsequent legal issues. Ray Rice wasn't cut from the Ravens because he had a terrible moment that happened to be on film, he was cut because his yards per carry were no longer worth the PR. So I suspect you might be right and we seem him in the Fall, but not for the reasons you're saying. And if he's Joe Mixon, we'll definitely be seeing him again.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 11 months ago

Now let's hear from the ignorant who say it's the football Gods hating us or a curse for firing Mangino.

Dane Pratt 1 year, 11 months ago

If anything the football gods would be praising us for firing Mangino since he was terminated for something similar to what Pooka has been accused of.

Doug Roberts 1 year, 11 months ago

Welp, nice knowin' ya, Pooka. What a shame.

[''] 1 year, 11 months ago

Buhbye idiot!! Sounds like you deserve jail time too.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 11 months ago

Now let's be real before any of you try to make excuses for his behavior. If he didn't play for KU you say what a piece of garbage he is, but since he does, you say things so ignorant and so clueless l don see how you can call yourself a man.

Jack Hoff 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm willing to die on this hill. But I've never personally believed that when these things happen the automatic reaction should be to kick the person off the team and lock the door. As a track coach who has dealt with these; the kids almost always turn out better when they are afforded an opportunity to grow from their mistake while not necessarily just taking away the thing from them that they love the most. Now that's a case by case basis... some things are too egregious to let go. Granted the investigation isn't over and we have no video to really see how egregious the incident was but I would be hesitant to just kick a kid to the curb and tell him to kick rocks. Never been a fan of that approach. Let's not forget Lagerald Vick kicked a girl in the face a few years back and Bill Self worked through that with him. He's grown tremendously from that experience. I'd like to see everything play itself out before I personally make judgement on a kid. That's just my opinion anyway

Dane Pratt 1 year, 11 months ago

I’m not holding out any hope for him but your thoughts are perfectly reasonable. There was a time when this sort of thing happened the process was to circumvent the legal avenues in order to get the athlete back on the field with little or no regard to the crime committed. Just do what we have to do to make him eligible. I’m dead set against that strategy and I might be naïve but I don’t think that is what KU will do. If Pooka ever steps foot on the field in a KU jersey it has to come with a price. We can’t just sweep this under the rug just to get him back on the field. That said, the easiest thing would be to kick him off the team.

Andy Tweedy 1 year, 11 months ago

Very reasonable and true. And in some cases the player truly tried to make amends for a terrible moment of bad judgement, I mention Ray Rice above. But there are plenty of cautionary tales to the contrary, such as Lawrence Phillips. We just don't know how he'll respond to a second chance.

Chris Weaver 1 year, 11 months ago

This is a very articulate thread, and I thank Jack, Dane, and Andy for their measured thoughts. There is a pathway to redemption. I think of Tyreke Hill and the Chiefs. I understand that circumstances are different, and Hill wasn't on the team when he punched his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach, but by all accounts, the young man has learned and grown with the support system of the team around him. When he was drafted, I was appalled, but was resolute that I hoped he could mature into a good man and a contributing member of society.

That being said, domestic violence is egregious enough, and I personally believe that our society is evolving before our eyes regarding the issue. My teenage sons are acutely aware and cognizant of the ramifications of violence against women, and I think it has a lot to do with the spotlight we are putting upon it.

I wish Pooka the best going forward, but I would like for him to do his growing away from the Lawrence community.

Thanks again for the intelligent conversation.

Dane Pratt 1 year, 11 months ago

There was plausible deniability when this story first broke but not now.

Richie Wilson 1 year, 11 months ago

Damn it! Thought there was a chance, but with what all is transpiring now days, metoo, etc. with the admitting of it and the text messages, he's gotta go.

Bville Hawk 1 year, 11 months ago

I agree with Jack. If he is found guilty the courts and society will punish him appropriately according to the law. He should be given a second chance by the university and the football program.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 11 months ago

If the Chiefs cut their best running back for the same type of behavior l dont see how Kansa doesnt. Video or no video. l dont need to see a video to judge how bad his actions were. You punch a woman in the stomach you're out. He can try to be a better person somewhere else. With all of the other problems with students abusing female students on the KU campus what message does it send if he is allowed to stay. He's out. l liked him as much as anyone on here, but no way should he be allowed to stay.

Bville Hawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Kevin, not quite the same situation. Kareem had been previously accused of domestic battery. Pooka has never been in trouble with the law. Arguably the Chiefs let Kareem go because 1) he lied to them initially when questioned about the incident, and/or 2) because the NFL Commissioners office placed him on the exempt list.

Joe Black 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm not taking a stance one way or the other but the Chiefs cut Hunt for lying to them about the incident which made them look bad when the video came out. If he would have been honest up front they would have been able to work something out after his suspension. So this is not the same thing as the Chiefs incident and should not necessary be treated the same. I was raised to never put your hands on a female in anger but not everybody was awarded the strong ethical background and upbringing that I enjoyed so they will make stupid mistakes and not all mistakes should ruin their lives. I'm sure the female in this case will be okay in the long run since she did not suffer any major injuries.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 11 months ago

l understand Bville but this isn't a KUFB problem it's a Ku University problem. What does it say to the rest of the students? He's a good football player, he's helping us turn things around, it doesn't matter how he acts. Just think if the victim was your mother, sister, wife, friend or an acquaintance. Then tell me if he should stay. Because the victim is one of those to somebody.

Dane Pratt 1 year, 11 months ago

Depends on what the code of conduct is for students. If it's expulsion then that should be his fate as well.

If it was my mother, sister, wife or daughter my concern would be about the legal consequences he suffers. As long as he is appropriately punished I don’t believe I would care about his job or in this case his scholarship.

[''] 1 year, 11 months ago

Dude admitted to hitting her not just in the stomach but several times on the arms -- and she says he choked her. ZERO excuse for any of that. Not someone we need to be affiliated with anymore. Good luck elsewhere.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 11 months ago

If Pooka's default setting is to hit a woman during an arguement or disagreement, then there is a bigger problem here. If that is the first thing you think to do with a woman during troubled times then you my friend should go away. We were all his age once and lve never come close to that or even thought of it. Hitting a woman should never be on the list. I'm sorry lm no saint but hitting a woman us the act of a coward. Pure and simple.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 11 months ago

KUFB is trying to turn things around, you can't do that by allowing this type of behavior because the player helps get wins. l always thought Beaty had integrity, he never allowed any BS with his players, regardless of standing(starter, star, backup or bench warmer).

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 11 months ago

Like magic, Pooka will disappear. Now you see him now you dont.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 11 months ago

You sell your soul to the Devil for wins, believe me eventually the Devil will want payment

Jack Hoff 1 year, 11 months ago

Kevin if that is your thinking then I expect you will never watch another KU basketball game again or never root for LaGerald Vick again? The university did it's own investigation and found that he kicked a girl in the face and punched her multiple times! That was also a university problem. I'm gonna need to see the same energy about that incident that you are showing towards this one. Why was it okay for Vick to get a second chance and learn from the experience but Pooka should be banished to hell?

Bville Hawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Luckily we have laws and courts and judges. This should be resolved in court before a judge, it is not a University matter. Would we expect the university to expel a Summerfield scholar under similar circumstances?

Dane Pratt 1 year, 11 months ago

Only if it is in violation of the student code of conduct. For Pooka, he has three different entities to deal with. State law, KU student code of conduct and KU football. rules and regulations.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 11 months ago

lts not Jack, because said player benefits the University because wins =tournament =$ for University. if he was a regular student he would be out because a regular student doesn't have value to the University. Sadly it's all about $ and certain things are overlooked if you make $ for an entity. It's sad that grownups talk about values but when it comes to money there are none. l dont watch any KUBB btw BB bores me at any level.

Jim Woodward 1 year, 11 months ago

The young man needs a good anger management program and professional help. Profound change does happen if the person is truly motivated. Don't know what the football team will do or should do with regard to his future (or lack of a future) with the team but they could intervene get him good professional help.

W Keith Swinehart II 1 year, 11 months ago

This is a serious matter and is being investigated. But a component of this story is the young man himself. He's a kid. He's a football player. We don't know anything about his home life, parental guidance, past behavior. We know nothing.

Before we toss him into the dumpster let's hear his story. Give him a chance. Give him some professional counseling. Part of the university experience is the student maturation opportunity. Give him that opportunity to right himself.

Chris Bailey 1 year, 11 months ago

Someone said it to me this way that Miles can take this situation as a teachable moment and make it about fixing a young man with issues thereby keeping him on the team. I’m not sure how I feel about that. You flat don’t hit women PERIOD. I don’t care what the reason. I’m not into this metoo crap or whatever I’m just a good ole boy who was raised to treat a lady with dignity and respect. There should never be an excuse made for a man hitting a woman and he had better pull his head out of his ass. I will give him a chance because he was clearly raised wrong in that this is apparently the norm. Let me break this down for you Pooka you lay a hand on my daughter and I stomp your a$$. You or anyone for that matter. That doesn’t fly in my circle. You had better take this and learn from it. College is suppose to be fun and punching a woman is not part of that.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 11 months ago

In another article, it was reported that she lived somewhere else, though the incident occurred at Pooka's apartment.

It's also interesting that his girlfriend is at his apartment with other guys. Not sure who they are, what relationship they had with Pooka, what they were doing, anything else. We don't know. Some possibilities could be illegal, and could have gotten Pooka into trouble with the University. We don't know. We don't know what she was doing to him. He could have been telling her to leave his apartment in a completely reasonable manner before she responded inappropriately. It doesn't make his actions right, but it definitely changes the circumstances. We don't know.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 11 months ago

l iike how you play what she might have done, to justify his actions Dirk. You're speculating on her role? Why? Did the report say anything you're speculating? No. Are you a detective all of a sudden? You keep saying "we dont know" so if you don't know shut up and stop trying to figure things out and posting them by speculating about the other guys, illegal activity or her role. So let's play "what if" to see if we can get him back on the field sooner. He punched and choked her, so unless she was attacking him with a weapon what could she have done to deserve that? Let's play "what if" Jerk um Dirk, what if that was your daughter, mother, sister, friend or relative? Would you be asking what their role was or would you care that they were assaulted? DB

Dirk Medema 1 year, 11 months ago

Sorry that you're offended Kevin. You had been doing so much better since Les came onboard.

I don't think I'm justifying his actions (See - "It doesn't make his actions right.").

I would also suggest that you live my your own words - "if you don't know, shut up." Or are you somehow the only person that can speculate?

If it was someone from my family? I'd make sure they were alright, and then I'd try to figure out what happened. Yes, I absolutely would be asking what their role was. Maybe it was nothing, and the other person just out of the blue attacked. It doesn't seem likely, so yes, I would ask - horrible person that I am.

I probably wouldn't resort to name calling. Not since I was at least 12 anyway.

Bret Eckert 1 year, 11 months ago

Kevin Robert Fest 1 Post under your real name. Have never seen this username ever. 2 You can express your opinion but nobody else can express their's. 3 Who made you the Judge Jury and Executioner? 4 I'm sure you have never made a mistake. 5 Stop posting on here.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 11 months ago

Hey Brad that is my real name. lll post here every day. You dont like it too bad. Yes l have made mistake just never hit a woman. See you on here tomorrow pal and every day after.

Barry Weiss 1 year, 11 months ago

well, this does not look good at all. that said, I think, like the basketball deal, we wait until the outside investigations are complete and all the facts are out via sworn testimony in the appropriate court of law. then and only then will KU probably make a decision on any self imposed penalties. this obviously sucks for the young lady and Pooka.

Don Johnson 1 year, 11 months ago

I deal with this kind of situation professionally. He was charged with Misdemeanor Assault. It hasn't been stated, but I wonder if alcohol was involved? That would be consistent with these type of offenses. He should be treated the same as every other indivudal so charged. The most likely legal outcome, depending on if he has any other arrest history, is some kind of diversion program. It is likely to include fines,community service, and treatment. If he meets the conditions of his diversion program, I believe he should continue with his football career. That is not to minimize the seriousness of offense. He is still a kid. He must learn from his mistakes, or he will wind up like Hunt. The football question should be based on his response to his situation.

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