Olowokandi’s Case Is Not Closed


Police said there is evidence to support allegations that Clipper center Michael Olowokandi assaulted his ex-girlfriend over the weekend, even though the alleged victim has recanted her testimony.

The case has yet to be turned over to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, a spokeswoman said. It would be up to the district attorney’s office to determine if any charges would be filed against Olowokandi.

An arraignment has been set for Jan. 2 in Torrance and Olowokandi, 26, remains free on bail of $50,000.


Olowokandi’s former girlfriend, Suzanne Ketcham, said Wednesday that she “attacked Michael” in a jealous rage when he returned from the Clippers’ trip to Denver accompanied by an unidentified woman, said to be his new girlfriend, and his brother.

But a police spokesman said Wednesday there is evidence to support Olowokandi’s arrest on suspicion of three felonies, including cohabitant abuse, false imprisonment and robbery.

“I’m not a judge, but the victim did not beat herself up nor did she rob herself of property,” Det. Karl Nilsson of the Manhattan Police Department said. Nilsson also said he was involved in a legal search of Olowokandi’s house Saturday afternoon.

“We found what we were looking for, which are the items we are alleging he took from her by force,” he said. “There was evidence in the home that we photographed, which shows conditions consistent with the victim’s version of what occurred.”

Ketcham said she recanted the charges against Olowokandi on Monday. She said Olowokandi’s brother and the unidentified woman would corroborate her version of events, which happened in Olowokandi’s million-dollar Manhattan Beach home at about 3 a.m.

“I went there Monday and wanted to clear everything up,” Ketcham, 23, said of speaking to the police. “I told them the truth of what happened.”


Law enforcement officers, however, have a legal obligation to fully investigate the charges. According to Ketcham, the police told her they want her to re-tell her story with a member of the district attorney’s office present. As of Wednesday evening, a meeting had not been scheduled.

Ketcham has scratches on her hands, but said she cannot remember how she got them. She has a small bump on her head, suffered after a tumble while scuffling with Olowokandi. She also bit the inside of her mouth.

In addition, she said she suffered a mark above her right eye when she tried to hit Olowokandi with her shoe. Olowokandi blocked it with his arm and the shoe struck her.

“I was the aggressor,” Ketcham said. “I was extremely jealous when I saw Michael with the other girl. I went and attacked Michael. He never laid a hand on me except to restrain me. I threw my watch and earrings at him. [The charges] are completely ridiculous.”

Asked why she made them in the first place, she said, “How would you feel if you saw someone you had been with for two years with someone else? Where you lived for two years? I went crazy. I went bananas. I lost control. I was so emotional that I wanted to hurt Michael.”

After the police arrived, photographs of Ketcham’s injuries were taken, she said. The next day, Ketcham said she had a chance to calm down and sought to set the record straight.


“I just want it cleared up,” she said. “It’s all my fault. Michael shouldn’t have to pay for my mistakes. It’s completely my fault. Michael is a great person.... When I came to my senses, I said, ‘Oh, my god. What did I just do?’ I was just so angry at Michael.”

Ketcham said the abuse charge stemmed from the scratches and other injuries she suffered while trying to strike at Olowokandi. She said the false imprisonment charges were based on Olowokandi’s insistence that she return home surveillance tapes to him before she left. The robbery charges were based on Olowokandi retrieving Ketcham’s watch and earrings.

“If he wanted a woman’s Rolex, I’m sure he could just go out and buy one,” she said before adding, “This has been blown out of proportion. It’s very important that people know now that it’s not true.”


The Associated Press contributed to this story.