- (Photo: Reuters/Mike Blake)
Kobe Bryant, who was investigated for possibly injuring a young man while attending a San Diego church last year, has since been absolved of the charges, authorities said.
Bryant, NBA all-star and Los Angeles Laker, reportedly confronted 21-year-old Thomas Hagos while attending Sunday mass at the St. Therese of Carmel Church in San Diego last August.
Hagos alleged that Bryant believed he was taking a picture of the athlete with his mobile phone camera, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Bryant reportedly left the church service early, after causing Hagos to suffer from a major wrist sprain, the Los Angeles Times reported. A San Diego police offer told the publication that an investigation took place, which included interviews with all participants and witnesses.
Police officers told the paper that a dispute occurred in the back of the church, causing the ball player to take the young man's phone. However, six months later, the San Diego City Attorney's Office said the investigation would be dropped based on a lack of evidence.
"As prosecutors we cannot ethically file a criminal case when we lack sufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt," Gina Coburn of the City Attorney's Office stated in a KGTV San Diego report. "Based upon our extensive investigation and interview of independent witnesses, we've concluded that charges cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."
Marsha Murphy attended the church service where the alleged incident took place and told 10News that she only saw Bryant correspond with his now separated wife, Vanessa.
"They both dipped hands in baptismal font, crossed themselves and they both exited," Murphy said. "When I looked out, they were the only two people I saw in the parking lot. I saw people, you know, being giddy and kind of excited that he was there, mostly men who were like, 'Wow, it's Kobe Bryant,' but I didn't see any inappropriateness."
With a lack of evidence, Hagos could not file charges against Bryant. However, 10News reports that the accuser may still be able to pursue a civil lawsuit against the NBA player.