MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham faces a felony-level charge for allegedly choking the woman he'd been living with for more than half a year.
The 26-year-old who has played five seasons in the NBA is charged with one count of domestic assault by strangulation stemming from an incident that occurred early Thursday morning in the west metro, court documents show.
According to a criminal complaint, officers with the Medina Police Department were called to Cunningham's home on the 400 block of Medina Road just after 4 a.m. There, they found a woman with red marks on her neck.
The victim told police that she'd been in a relationship with Cunningham since last summer. She said they'd lived at the Medina home for the past eight months, and were recently having relationship troubles.
Early Thursday morning, the two had gotten into an argument. Cunningham then left the home angry, the victim said, and she locked the bedroom door behind him. When Cunningham returned, he allegedly kicked the door down, grabbed the victim by the neck and pushed her into the wall.
The victim told police she was choked for 15 to 20 seconds and that she feared for her life.
After Cunningham let her go, he left the house again, the victim said. That's when she called police.
Officers arrested Cunningham when he returned to the home later that morning.
The Timberwolves released a statement Thursday saying that Cunningham will not travel with the team to Miami for Friday night's game against the Heat.
"The Minnesota Timberwolves organization takes the matter very seriously and does not condone the type of behavior that is associated with this situation," the statement said. "However, we need to let the legal process run its course, and will have further comment at the appropriate time."
This is Cunningham's second year with the Timberwolves.
If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of three years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
He was being held Friday at the Hennepin County Jail. His bail was set at $40,000.
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