January 21, 2015 / 2:43 AM / 3 years ago

Boxing champ Taylor pleads not guilty to Arkansas assault charges

Jermain Taylor of the U.S. is seen in a WBC super middleweight championship bout in Mashantucket, Connecticut April 25, 2009. REUTERS/Teddy Blackburn

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) - Boxing champion Jermain Taylor pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to multiple criminal charges related to allegations of threatening a family at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Little Rock.

Taylor, who appeared before Little Rock District Judge Alice Lightle in a video link from the Pulaski County jail, was taken into police custody on Monday.

Police said he is suspected of discharging a pistol during an argument with another man who was accompanied by his wife and three children at the parade.

Taylor was charged with five counts of aggravated assault, three counts of endangering a minor and possession of marijuana. A firearm and spent cartridges were recovered, a police report said.

Lightle ordered Taylor to have no contact with the alleged victims of Monday’s incident should he post bond.

After being released on $50,000 bond, Circuit Judge Leon Johnson of Little Rock granted a motion by the district prosecutor, Larry Jegley of Little Rock, and ordered Taylor to surrender and return to jail within 24 hours.

Taylor posted a message on his Facebook page on Tuesday saying: “Arkansas, I got 24 hours to turn myself in. I know y‘all are disappointed in me. I‘m sorry.”

Taylor already faces two felony charges for an August incident in which police said he shot a cousin at his suburban Little Rock home. He had been released on bond in that case.

Taylor’s defense of his International Boxing Federation middleweight title against Sergio Mora, scheduled for Feb. 6 in Biloxi, Mississippi, was canceled before the incident when his trainer said he had injured a rib while sparring.

Taylor was a bronze medalist at the 2000 Olympics.

In July 2005, he defeated Bernard Hopkins to become the undisputed world middleweight champion and has a 33-4-1 career record with 20 knockouts.

He remained the middleweight champion until 2007, when Kelly Pavlik knocked him out in the seventh round of a fight in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Additional reporting by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Susan Heavey and Eric Walsh

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