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Celtics' Jabari Bird Strangled Girlfriend 12 Times ... Prosecutors Said

9/13/2018 10:22 AM PDT

Celtics' Jabari Bird Strangled Girlfriend 12 Times, Prosecutors Say

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12:45 PM PT -- Bird released a statement apologizing for the incident, saying, "I'm taking some time away from the team as I deal with my legal and medical issues. I apologize to my family, the Celtics organization, my teammates, the fans and the NBA for the unnecessary distraction that I have caused." 

"The information that has been released does not tell the full story. I do not condone violence against women. I am hopeful that in due time and process, I will be able to regain everyone's trust."

Boston Celtics guard Jabari Bird choked out his girlfriend so badly during a Sept. 7 incident that she lost consciousness ... according to prosecutors. 

24-year-old Bird appeared in court in Boston on Thursday where prosecutors laid out the case against him ... and the allegations are horrifying. WBZ-TV's Beth Germano got a photo of Bird in court. 

Officials say the alleged victim claims Bird terrorized her for 4 hours at his Brighton apartment -- where she tried to get away from the NBA player by hiding under her bed and locking herself in her bathroom. 

During the alleged altercation, the woman claims Bird strangled her at least 12 times. 

She claims she tried to escape, but Bird grabbed her by the ankles and dragged her away from the door. 

Officials say Bird appeared to be having "seizure-like" symptoms during the end of the attack -- and that's how she was able to leave. 

Afterward, she claims Bird texted her that he would kill himself if she didn't return to the apartment. 

He was eventually arrested for assault and battery, strangulation and kidnapping. 

Bail was set at $50,000 -- and he's been ordered to pay in cash, as that's all the court accepts. 

We spoke with the Suffolk D.A., Dan Conley, who tells us, "Anyone living in fear of domestic violence can count on our office for a safe, supportive, victim-centered environment."

"As this case illustrates, a trusted figure in a survivor’s life can make disclosing abuse to law enforcement easier." 

"It might be a friend, coach, family member, or co-worker. It might be police or prosecutors directly. But no matter the circumstances and no matter who you are, it’s important to remember that there are people ready to help you."

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