Time and time again, we joke that the offseason is for getting into trouble. Unfortunately, the allegations surrounding now-former Utah defensive tackle Koliniasi Mona Leota are nothing to laugh at.
Via the Deseret News, Leota has been kicked off the team for allegedly attacking his wife in front of their two-year-old child. Leota, who was already on suspension, faces three felony charges and four misdemeanors. Those charges are as follows:
Felonies: aggravated kidnapping (first-degree), aggravated assault (third-degree), and commission of domestic violence in the presence of a child (third-degree); Class B misdemeanors: threat of violence, and commission of domestic violence in the presence of a child (three counts).
Below is a description of what happened from the paper via the incident’s report. Keep in mind, this is just one account of what happened, but it’s quite disturbing:
… Leota became angry and punched his wife in the head and face, then told her to go into the bathroom to clean up the blood, charges filed in 3rd District Court state.
While she was in the bathroom, the 6-foot 4-inch, 278-pound man hit her in the head with a curling iron, then wrapped the iron’s cords around his hands and tried to strangle her, the charging documents state. He then allegedly ripped a towel bar from the wall, hit her in the head with it and tried to stab her in the throat with the broken end.
She told police that each time she tried to run out the door, Leota would grab her by the hair and drag her back inside. Prosecutors say the couple’s 2-year-old child was present during the assault.
Someone arrived with their two older children, ages 3 and 4, during the ordeal and the mother ran outside and got into the car with them, locking the door. A police officer reported seeing Leota standing outside the car threatening to smash the windows and saying, “I’m going to kill you. I’m going to fly to Hawaii and kill your family.”
Leota is being held on $250,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.
“We will do everything we can to help Niasi and his family get through this situation, but obviously we do not tolerate this kind of behavior,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham (pictured) said in a statement.
Leota appeared in 10 games last season and recorded six tackles.