ATLANTA — After saying he needed to be more of a leader on a rebuilding team, Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder was arrested on misdemeanour battery charges Friday for a fight outside a late-night restaurant.
Brookhaven police reported that Schroder and three other men were charged in the altercation, which occurred around 2 a.m. Friday at the 6am restaurant. The fight had broken up when police arrived, but a review of video from the scene led to the charges.
According to a police report, the video showed a total of seven people, including alleged victim Joey Hall and a security office, involved in "what appeared to be a verbal heated exchange."
"Later in the video you can see (Schroder) initiate physical contact (shove) with Hall," the reports said. "Securities attempt to shield Hall was unsuccessful. Later in the video, you could see all the offenders attacking Hall. Hall was struck with hands and feet by the offenders. Security eventually was able to separate all involved parties. Security pushed and shoved the offenders until the scene became safe(r)."
Police said Schroder and the other three men, identified as Maurice Adu-poku, Edrissa Sonko and Balle Jobe, were attempting to leave scene when two police officers arrived. The suspects were stopped near the entrance of a parking lot.
The report said Hall sustained scratches to his right knee and complained of right ankle pain before he was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment. A phone number listed for him on the police report was not in service.
The Hawks declined comment. Schroder was released on bond and is travelling with the team to Miami for its first preseason game Sunday night.
"We are still gathering information as it pertains to the situation, and out of respect for the legal process, we will have no further comment at this time," the Hawks said in a statement.
The 24-year-old Schroder is the top returning scorer on the Hawks, averaging 17.9 points and 6.3 assists per game in his first season as a full-time starter. He will likely take on even more of a load this season after the Hawks lost Paul Millsap and Tim Hardaway Jr. in free agency and traded Dwight Howard in a salary dumping deal, beginning a potentially grim rebuilding process.
Schroder, a native of Germany, endured several off-the-court issues a season ago, including a one-game suspension for failing to report back to the team on time after the All-Star break. He also had a spat with Howard during a game that led to Schroder being benched.
On the eve of training camp, Schroder acknowledged Monday that he had to take on more of a leadership role.
"The young players, they’re looking up to me now," he said. "I’ve got to do everything professional and try to be a role model for them."
Coach Mike Budenholzer said Schroder had done everything asked of him during the off-season.
"We feel like he has a very, very bright future," Budenholzer said. "How he’s improved as a leader, as a teammate, is something that’s put him in position to be really important to our locker room and important to how we navigate the season and push through, push forward. His improvement has been special to watch."