A University of Montana Griz basketball player was charged by the Missoula County Attorney’s office Friday with two counts: strangulation and assault of a partner or family member. The strangulation charge is a felony.
According to charging documents obtained by the Kaimin, Naseem I. Gaskin, a sophomore transfer student on UM’s basketball team, was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 19, when police responded to a domestic abuse call at the ROAM Student Living apartments.
The documents state Jane Doe, Gaskin’s girlfriend, claimed that she got into an argument with Gaskin and he kicked her off of the bed, causing bruising on her leg. She then returned to her feet and took Gaskin’s phone, at which point he pinned her to the bed with his elbow, blocking her airways.
Next, Doe claimed that she attempted to bite and pull Gaskin’s hair to stop him, to which he responded by grabbing her neck with one hand and continuing to strangle her.
The documents state Doe told the police she remembered thinking she did not want to die while Gaskin was strangling her. Gaskin then allegedly retrieved his phone and quit strangling Doe. Doe then left the apartment and called the police.
Officers at the scene observed significant bruising to Doe’s neck consistent with finger marks, according to charging documents. The documents state she had scratches on her neck, bruises on her left wrist and bruises under her bicep. Officers observed bruises on her leg, which she attributed to getting kicked off of Gaskin’s bed.
The officers also noted that Doe’s voice was hoarse and she stated that her neck “really hurt” and that her throat was sore. Gaskin was then arrested.
In a statement to the Kaimin, UM athletics said Gaskin had been suspended from all athletics. Gaskin has also been placed on interim suspension from the University.
“The University and athletic department are aware of the incident involving student-athlete Naseem Gaskin,” the statement said. “We understand the seriousness of the allegations and absolutely do not condone such behavior.”
An initial court appearance is set for Gaskin Friday at 2:30 p.m.
This story will be updated.
Griffen Smith and Mariah Thomas contributed reporting to this story