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L.A. Rams Tight End Pleads Not Guilty In Alleged Racial Attack

5/5/2016 7:53 AM PDT

L.A. Rams Tight End -- Pleads Not Guilty ... In Alleged Racial Attack

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L.A. Rams rookie tight end Tyler Higbee pled NOT GUILTY to assaulting a man outside of a Kentucky bar back in April -- in an incident where Higbee allegedly hurled racial slurs at a Middle Eastern man. 

Higbee was arrested on April 10th -- after officials say Higbee beat up Nawaf Alsaleh so badly, he gave the guy a concussion and a brain hemorrhage. 

A witness told police that before the incident, Higbee and another man had been hurling slurs at Alsaleh such as "f*** ISIS" and "white power."

According to the police report, Higbee denied most of the slurs -- but admitted saying, "Watch out, Haji" after he punched him in the face. 

Cops say Higbee initially fled the scene -- and officers gave chase -- with Higbee trying to hide behind a tree next to a church. He was eventually discovered and arrested. Cops say he was drunk. 

Higbee was later charged with 2nd degree assault, 2nd degree evading police and public intoxication. 

He's pled not guilty to all charges -- with his attorney insisting the 24-year-old was only acting in self defense after Alsaleh got aggressive and physical with Tyler and his girlfriend. 

Higbee is due back in court in June. 

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