Charge against Boston Bruins vet Milan Lucic dropped; team issues statement

The Bruins player faced an assault charge after an altercation with his wife on Nov. 18, 2023

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Prosecutors in the case against Boston Bruins veteran Milan Lucic on Friday dropped the domestic violence charge he faced — after filing for a motion to use the 911 call made from the night of the alleged assault.

Hours after his victory in court, the Bruins released a statement saying Lucic won't return from the indefinite leave of absence the player has been on since his arrest.

“Milan Lucic will remain on indefinite leave from the organization for the remainder of the 2023-24 season," the team said in the statement, obtained by The Associated Press. “The Boston Bruins organization supports Milan and his family as he continues his personal rehabilitation.”

The Bruins player faced an assault and battery charge after an altercation with his wife on Nov. 18, 2023.

Lucic was inside the Boston courtroom Friday. Assistant District Attorney Samuel Jones called the 911 operator from that call as a witness but his wife declined to testify, invoking her spousal privilege not to testify against her husband.

It was revealed in court Friday that the call was made once Lucic's wife was in the lobby of her building.

Police said the woman who called said "her husband" tried to strangle her after claiming he couldn't find his phone.

Lucic allegedly grabbed her by the hair and pulled her back saying, "She wasn't going anywhere." Officers responding to the scene said Lucic appeared to be intoxicated.

Lucic's defense argued the 911call should be inadmissible because they said she had time to fabricate her statement to the 911 operator in the time that it took her to go downstairs and make the call.

The defense also said his wife told police the red marks found on her chest weren't from Lucic trying to strangle her.

The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said its prosecutors didn't believe it was possible to conclusively prove the charges without Lucic's wife participating, a situation that happens often in cases of domestic violence.

Boston Bruins veteran Milan Lucic appeared in court on Tuesday, where he was released on personal recognizance bail after his wife reported him to police over the weekend, saying she had been choked. 

"We handled this case exactly as we would any other presenting a similar set of circumstances," James Borghesani, chief of communications for the district attorney's office, wrote in a statement Friday.

The hockey forward was arrested in the fall on a charge of assault and battery on an intimate partner after an incident at his Boston apartment and pleaded not guilty at his arraignment several days later.

Lucic has been on the indefinite leave of absence from the team since that time and entered the NHL players assistance program.

At a pretrial hearing on Jan. 19, Lucic's attorney requested a bench trial, waiving his client's right to a jury trial.

According to a police report provided to NBC10 Boston by sources, officers responded to Lucic's residence on Nov. 18 after a woman called 911, saying her husband had attempted to choke her.

Police said the woman later identified her husband as Lucic.

According to the police report, Lucic was upset over a cellphone and at one point, he allegedly grabbed his wife's hair and pulled her back, telling her she wasn't going anywhere.

Lucic's wife told police that during the night, her husband couldn't locate his phone after returning to the apartment after a night out. She said he began yelling at her, demanding his phone back, believing she had hidden it. She told him she didn't have his phone and didn't know where it was. That's when the assault occurred.

When asked by police if Lucic had strangled her, she reportedly said no.

Officers said Lucic appeared intoxicated, telling them "nothing had happened" but refusing to explain any further. He was then arrested.

Police said they saw a broken lamp on one of the nightstands inside the apartment and what appeared to be a small amount of broken glass on the floor.

Lucic is a veteran of over 1,300 NHL games with the Bruins, Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. He won the Stanley Cup with Boston in 2011 and is back with the team after signing a one-year free agent contract last summer worth $1 million with $500,000 in possible additional incentives.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NBC/The Associated Press
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