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UCLA's Dragovic allegedly pushed man into glass case in fight, D.A. says

The man suffered a cut Achilles tendon when the case shattered, prosecutors say. The incident took place last month at the Henry Fonda Theater.

November 23, 2009|By David Wharton

New details about UCLA forward Nikola Dragovic's arrest came to light today, with prosecutors saying he pushed a man into a glass display case, causing injuries, during an altercation at a Hollywood concert venue.

The argument began during an Oct. 24 show at the Henry Fonda Theater and escalated into a physical confrontation, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Michelle Dodd said in a news release.

The alleged victim suffered a lacerated Achilles tendon when the display case shattered.

Police investigated for several weeks before arresting Dragovic and an acquaintance, Aleksandar Stanisic, on Friday. They have been charged with assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury.

Dragovic was also charged with an allegation of personally inflicting great bodily injury on the victim.

The 21-year-old player could not be reached for comment and UCLA officials declined to talk about the case.

According to prosecutors, Stanisic began arguing with another man and his girlfriend during the concert. Afterward, Dragovic allegedly rushed the victim and pushed him into the case, prosecutors said. As the two men were on the ground, Stanisic allegedly began punching the victim until security and bystanders broke up the fight, prosecutors said.

Dragovic reported the incident to campus police and team officials shortly after it occurred. As soon as charges were filed, Dragovic -- accompanied by Coach Ben Howland -- surrendered to Hollywood detectives. He later was released on bail.

Howland said Dragovic "was obviously very apologetic and felt terrible about this whole situation."

It was Dragovic's second recent brush with the law. Dragovic was arrested last fall after a fight with a former girlfriend.

After interviewing the player and the alleged victim, the city attorney's office decided not to pursue that case but left open the possibility of revisiting it within a year.

Today, city attorney's spokesman Frank Mateljan said there was no indication the current charge would prompt action by prosecutors in his office.

"I don't anticipate anything happening with the old case because there is no additional information on that incident," he said.

Dragovic remained suspended from the team for tonight's game against Pepperdine. Both defendants are scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 21.

david.wharton@latimes.com

twitter.com/LATimesWharton

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