Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia forward Wesley Harris (21) celebrates after scoring a basket against Kansas State last season. The junior was arrested for punching a man in a Morgantown traffic altercation and has pleaded not guilty.

 

— By William Dean and Sean Manning, The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia forward Wesley Harris faces a battery charge after allegedly breaking a man’s nose during a traffic altercation.

Harris, 21, pleaded not guilty in Monongalia County Magistrate Court on July 31. Bond was set at $6,000 and posted by Harris the same day.

Morgantown police responded to the call just before 6 p.m. on July 16.

According to a criminal complaint, Ryan Casteel told officers he accidentally turned the wrong way on Jones Avenue due to Stewart Street being closed. That’s when Harris, traveling on Jones Avenue, stepped out of his Chevrolet Avalanche with Mississippi plates and began arguing with him.

Casteel told officers he got out of his car and Harris threw him against his vehicle, denting and scratching it. He claimed Harris then pushed him to the ground and punched him several times, breaking his nose.

An unnamed bystander who works for WVU’s athletics department told the officer the attacker was Harris.

If convicted, Harris faces to a year in jail and a fine up to $500.

“We are aware of the situation and the matter is being handled internally,” WVU said in a statement to The Dominion Post.

After coming from Northeast Mississippi Community College, Harris started 37 games last season for the Mountaineers, averaging 5.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.

Harris was also reprimanded by the Big 12 for punching a fan following a court-storming at Texas Tech. He was not suspended by the conference or WVU after that incident.

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