A UCLA basketball player pleaded not guilty Monday to felony assault following a fracas in Hollywood, and his attorney says the dust up was “clearly a case of self-defense” on the part of his client, Nikola Dragovic.

The 6-foot, 9-inch player was involved in a fight with another man following a concert at the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood in October. The District Attorney's office contends the player plowed the victim into a glass display case, injuring the victim and causing a laceration to his Achilles tendon.

The 22-year-old forward from Serbia and a 21-year-old friend were slapped with charges of assault with intention to do great bodily injury. Dragovic faces an additional charge of personal infliction of great bodily injury.

But the player's attorney, Jon Artz, told reporters that Dragovic was acting in self defense and had walked away from the victim after he started a conflict by slapping the player's friend and threatening the pair in Serbian. “The alleged victim was the aggressor,” the attorney said.

LA Weekly