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Bird Tapes Testimony in Battery Case

June 9, 1999

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ With his team in the midst of the Eastern Conference finals, Indiana Pacers coach Larry Bird on Tuesday gave testimony in the case of a downtown pub manager charged with battery.

Gordon Etchison was charged after evicting a female patron he believed was bothering Bird.

In an office in Market Square Arena on Tuesday, Bird provided videotaped testimony for the June 30 trial. Bird calmly fielded questions from Deputy Prosecutor Bob Altice and Etchison’s attorney, Martin Solomon.

Etchison is a former owner of the Legal Beagle pub and managed it until shortly after his arrest. Bird is among prosecution witnesses.

The prosecution and defense agreed he could provide videotaped testimony instead of appearing on the witness stand. Also in attendance was Bird’s attorney, James Voyles.

As the tape rolled, Bird described what he remembered of the evening of Feb. 4. Bird said he and an assistant coach went to the Legal Beagle for sandwiches and beers.

He reiterated his statement to police that patron Kay Williams was not bothering him when she came to his table. He said Etchison came up to her and told her it was time to go.

``I said, `She’s fine.′ I could tell she was about done,″ Bird said.

He said he did not see Etchison physically grab her.

Police said Williams was treated at Methodist Hospital for bruises and soreness.

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