The boyfriend of one of the Rev. Al Sharpton's daughters was charged Thursday with punching her in the face and shoving her out of a car, but a defense lawyer said the boyfriend hurled nothing more than words at her.
Latrell Peeks, 23, was released without bail after his arraignment on assault and harassment charges. He didn't enter a plea.
Prosecutors said the 6-foot-7 Peeks punched 23-year-old Dominique Sharpton, daughter of the civil rights activist, repeatedly in the face Tuesday while the two were in a car in Manhattan's Harlem neighborhood. She was treated at a hospital for a cut on her lip and a swollen jaw, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Daniel Brody said.
Peeks, also 23, didn't enter a plea. But defense lawyer Jennifer Wu said that the couple had only a verbal dispute, and that Sharpton left the car voluntarily.
A lawyer for the Sharptons, Michael Hardy, declined to comment. So did Peeks when he left the courthouse.
His grandmother, Leova Jenkins, called the charges "ridiculous.''
"He's a good kid,'' she said. He is a full-time college student also looking for work, his lawyer said.
He's due back in court March 24, the day after Sharpton and her mother, Kathy, are set to go on trial on resisting arrest and other charges stemming from an Oct. 30 traffic stop in Harlem. Police say the two cursed at the officers, ignored orders to return to their cars and resisted being handcuffed.
Hardy says they committed no crime. They have pleaded not guilty.
Kathy Sharpton is Al Sharpton's ex-wife; Dominique Sharpton is their eldest child.