Nawa Koa Misi, a linebacker with the Miami Dolphins, was arrested Friday morning in Florida on a nearly year-old warrant out of Santa Barbara County. Misi, according to the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office, was charged with battery with serious bodily injury in April 2011, but never appeared for his arraignment.
According to Drew Sugars of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department, witnesses say that after Misi engaged in an angry shouting match with a group of people on the balcony of an Isla Vista apartment, the 6‘3”, 251-pound linebacker entered the apartment by punching a hole through the wooden front door.
A man sleeping on a couch in the apartment stood up when Misi gained entrance, according to witnesses, and Misi immediately punched him in the face. Misi left, Sugars said, but was followed by a group of females who said he should pay for the damage to the door. One of the women called police, and Misi grabbed her phone and threw it on the ground.
When Sheriff’s deputies arrived, Misi “was cooperative and agreed to pay for the damage,” Sugars said. The next day, the alleged male victim requested charges be filed, and Misi was notified.
Because Misi never showed for his scheduled arraignment, a warrant was issued, and the S.B. Sheriff’s Department “arranged with authorities in Broward County” to arrest Misi, which they did Friday morning, said Sugars.
The 25-year-old is being held in Broward County Jail on $10,000 bail. According to DA Joyce Dudley and Deputy DA Ali Neufer, who is prosecuting the case and spoke with Broward County jail officials Friday, Misi could appear in front of a judge there as early as Friday night. Officials told Neufer that even if he posts bail, Misi may not be released because of the felony warrant.
If he is not released, Misi would either have to waive extradition, or an extradition hearing would have to be held. Los Angeles attorney Adam Braun is believed to be representing Misi. He was not in his office when The Independent called Friday afternoon.
[UPDATE: DA Joyce Dudley said Misi has bailed out of Broward County Jail, and that one of the terms of his release is that he appear in front of a Florida court within 30 days. That hearing will likely get the extradition process rolling, she said.]
Misi had 34 tackles in 12 games last year before his season ended in December after injuring his shoulder. The Dolphins went 6-10. In 2010, he had 41 tackles and five sacks for the Dolphins.
Harvey Greene, senior VP for Media Relations for the Dolphins, said in a statement, “We are aware of the situation and are in the process of gathering information. As a result, we will refrain from any comment.”
Misi, who is from Santa Rosa, played three years of college ball at the University of Utah, where he started 36 out of 38 games. He was the 40th overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft.