A judge in Las Vegas agreed on Wednesday to let Floyd Mayweather Jr remain free pending a Feb. 3 trial date on a misdemeanor battery complaint alleging he poked a security guard in the face several times during a confrontation outside Mayweather’s home.
The 33-year-old boxer didn’t appear in Las Vegas Justice Court while his lawyer, Karen Winckler, fought to keep him out of jail.
Outside court, Winckler said her client was out of town. She denied wrongdoing on his behalf.
During the hearing, Winckler persuaded Judge Tony Abbatangelo not to order Mayweather’s arrest on the new charge, despite prosecutor Brad Turner’s effort to show a pattern of what he termed “dangerous behavior.”
Mayweather was already free on US$33,000 bail on unrelated felony coercion, grand larceny and robbery charges pending a Jan. 24 court date. That case stems from a September dispute with Mayweather’s children and their mother, Josie Harris, at her house. He could face up to 34 years in prison if convicted in that case.
A conviction on the battery charge could result in a six-month jail sentence and a US$1,000 fine.
Turner implored the judge on Wednesday to order Mayweather’s arrest to “send a message that he can’t continue to engage in these types of behaviors over and over again.”
“The bigger issue is the felony,” the judge said.
The misdemeanor battery allegation stems from a Nov. 15 confrontation over parking tickets between the undefeated boxing champion and a homeowner association security guard.
Police allege a “verbally abusive” Mayweather blocked the guard, Shayne Smith, from leaving a cul-de-sac, screamed he had no business “touching his personal property,” and repeatedly jabbed his finger into Smith’s cheek.
Police photographed what the report calls redness and discoloration below Smith’s left eye.
A criminal complaint alleges willful and unlawful use of force.
Mayweather has been the focus of several other police investigations in recent months, and made headlines in September with an online video laced with expletives and racial rants against Philippine rival Manny Pacquiao.
A Mayweather associate faces trial in February on attempted murder and weapons charges stemming from allegations that he shot at two men after one of them argued with the boxer in August last year at a Las Vegas skating rink. Mayweather faces no charges in that case.
Mayweather has been in court several times over the years in battery and violence cases in Las Vegas and in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
He was convicted in 2002 of misdemeanor battery stemming from a fight with two women at a Las Vegas nightclub. He received a suspended one-year jail sentence and was ordered to undergo impulse-control counseling.
He was fined in Grand Rapids in 2005 and ordered to perform community service after pleading no contest to misdemeanor assault and battery in a bar fight.