By PATRICK WALTERS
Associated Press Writer
Prosecutors dropped assault charges against former heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier on Tuesday after the alleged victim refused to testify.
Frazier was arrested after a domestic dispute in February and charged with assaulting the mother of his 12-year-old son. The case was scheduled to go
to trial Tuesday, but prosecutors said there was no way to move forward without testimony from the woman.
"Without a victim and without a witness, we withdrew the case," said Cathie Abookire, a spokeswoman for Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham.
Frazier had been charged with simple assault and reckless endangerment.
Abraham could choose to refile the charges in the future, Abookire said.
The alleged victim had maintained all along that she would not cooperate, and prosecutors eventually concluded they could not move forward. "We
prosecuted this case as vigorously as we could," Abookire said.
Frazier, 60, was arrested around 7 a.m. on Feb. 13 after someone called 911 from his North Philadelphia home. When police arrived, the woman who
answered the door had injuries to her lip and face and said Frazier had hit her. Police are required to make an arrest if there is a physical injury
to someone who is making a domestic violence complaint.
Frazier was heavyweight champion in the late 1960s and early 1970s and fought Muhammad Ali in three memorable heavyweight battles, winning one.
Eugene Bonner, Frazier's attorney, said the outcome of the case was "appropriate."
There had been a commotion between Frazier and the woman as the two were getting their son ready for school. The boy then called 911 without the
knowledge of either of his parents, Bonner said. He added that the prosecutor's decision to drop the charges should clear Frazier's name.
"He's a gentleman and has a good reputation," Bonner said.
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