Koa Misi of Broward County, Florida was charged with battery with serious injury on Friday and arrested at his Weston home. The Miami Dolphins linebacker was arrested by Broward County police officers and taken to Broward County Jail at approximately 8:00 a.m. last Friday. The arrest came in response to a warrant issued by a Santa Barbara County, CA judge. Misi, 25, was released that evening on $10,000 bail bond and currently awaits trial in connection to the charges.
The arrest warrant came in connection to an incident that occurred on April 15th of last year at approximately 2:35 p.m. near the University of California, Santa Barbara campus. According to the police report, Misi was walking with one male friend and two female friends near the campus when a group of people on the balcony of an apartment above the street started shouting insults at them. Misi and his friends reportedly started shouting back, and the two groups began arguing. It is not clear whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the fighting.
Misi, angered by the taunts, allegedly ran up to the apartment door, punched a hole in it, entered, and punched a 19-year-old man inside the apartment in the eye.
Three female witnesses inside of the apartment reportedly demanded that Misi pay for the damage. When one threatened to call the police, Misi allegedly took her cell phone from her and threw it to the ground, breaking it. Someone ended up calling the police nonetheless. When officials arrived on the scene, Misi was apparently cooperative and agreed to pay for the damage that he had caused. The unidentified 19-year-old man who Misi punched decided that he wanted to press charges the following day.
Misi was a second-round draft pick for the Miami Dolphins in 2010. He went to the University of Utah, where he played outside linebacker in 35 out of the 36 games that took place during his time there. The 6 foot 3, 260-pound football player had 41 tackles and five sacks, including 11 starts, in his first year with the Dolphins. His second year, he had 34 tackles and one sack, including nine starts, but had to stop playing midseason due to a neck injury. “We would like to see Misi emerge a little more and be more productive and make more impact plays. He has played very well at the point of attack,” said Joe Pilbin, Miami Dolphins coach.
The National Football League forbids its employees from committing domestic violence or battery crimes, and Misi could be investigated, fined and even suspended by the league in connection to the current charges. “We are aware of the situation and are in the process of gathering information. As a result, we will refrain from any comment,” said a spokesperson for the NFL.
The case, which will be prosecuted in California, may be defended on the grounds of a California “fighting words” law that holds verbal abusers accountable for using taunts that are likely to instigate physical violence. Misi, a California native, does not have a criminal record.