MORGANTOWN — Wesley Harris, who started every game for West Virginia University’s Sweet 16 basketball team last season, is facing misdemeanor battery charges following a July 16 incident in Morgantown.
The criminal complaint, filed in Monongalia County Magistrate Court, charges Harris with battery and “unlawfully and intentionally” causing harm, as well as misdemeanor destruction of property.
According to the complaint, the victim had driven the wrong way up Jones Avenue in Morgantown due to a temporary road closure on Stewart Street. Another man, later identified as Harris, in a black Chevrolet Avalanche with Mississippi plates, was on Jones Avenue at the same time, stopped and started arguing with the victim. Both Harris and the victim left their vehicles and the victim said Harris threw him against the victim’s vehicle, causing a large dent and scratch.
The victim then claimed Harris pushed him to the ground and punched him in the face several times, breaking the victim’s nose. A bystander who works for WVU’s athletic department and both the victim and his fiancee identified the attacker as Harris.
Harris, a 6-foot-8 forward from Jackson, Mississippi, started all 37 games last season, averaging 20.6 minutes, 5.3 points and 3.6 rebounds.
When reached by the Gazette-Mail on Thursday, Mountaineer coach Bob Hug-gins said he had no comment at this time. In a statement, a WVU athletics spokesperson said the matter would be handled internally.
Harris was reprimanded by the Big 12 last season after striking a Texas Tech fan during a court-storming after the Red Raiders’ win over the Mountaineers in Lubbock, Texas. Texas Tech also received a public reprimand and a $25,000 fine for the incident.