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WNBA player accused of hitting, strangling wife in police report

(Joshua Huston/NBAE via Getty Images)

Las Vegas Aces guard Riquna Williams has been accused of hitting, kicking and strangling her wife in an incident that lasted an hour, according to a police report.

Williams was arrested Tuesday in connection to a domestic violence investigation. Nine charges have been filed against Williams, including domestic battery by strangulation and assault with a deadly weapon, per Las Vegas-area news outlets.

The 11-year WNBA veteran has been sidelined through the first two months of the 2023 season with a lower back injury. The Aces have barred Williams from participating in team activities until further notice.

Police officers were called to the home of Williams and her wife at around noon Tuesday after her wife called 911, per the arrest report from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Williams’ wife reportedly texted Williams on Monday, informing Williams of her plan to return to Florida, where they live during the offseason, to spend time with her son. Early Tuesday Tuesday, the victim began to pack her belongings.

Williams began to take her wife’s possessions, including her cell phones, iPad, credit card, debit card and ID, so her wife “could not leave her,” per the police report. Then Williams allegedly began to accuse her wife of infidelity and became violent. After grabbing the victim by her shirt and throwing her to the ground, Williams began to choke the victim, “squeezing until she could not breathe,” according to the report.

“I’ll kill you here and walk to the jail myself!” the report said Williams told the victim.

Additionally, Williams began to hit the victim with heavy objects before beginning to choke her again, per the report. Once Williams left the house, the victim went to her neighbor’s house and used a phone to call a family member and then the police.

The WNBA player was taken into custody outside of a gym Tuesday, at which point she suggested that her wife had been the aggressor during the incident.

Williams faces four charges of domestic battery, three charges of domestic battery by strangulation, one charge of assault domestic violence with a deadly weapon and one charge of coercion of domestic violence with force or threat of force. She was released Wednesday but was ordered to stay away from the victim. Her next court appearance in scheduled for Aug. 2.

“The court does have concerns regarding the extremely violent nature of the allegations in this case, that they alleged to have occurred over an extended period of time, and that you came back as a high-risk lethality on the domestic violence report. The court does balance that, however, with your lack of any criminal history at age 33,” Las Vegas Judge Rebecca Saxe told Williams in her first court appearance Wednesday.

The WNBA previously suspended Williams for 10 games without pay in 2019 for alleged domestic violence. Williams was arrested in April 2019 on charges of burglary and assault stemming from an incident involving an ex-girlfriend, but the charges were dismissed in February 2020.

The WNBA domestic violence policy allows the league to conduct an investigation into allegations of domestic violence. But if a player is acquitted after a trial, they can no longer be subject to discipline from the league.