A Los Angeles judge has issued a temporary restraining order keeping the Portland Trail Blazers’ Trevor Ariza away from his 12-year-old son after the boy’s mother alleged Ariza had physically abused him.
Ariza strongly denied the abuse allegations, saying the boy’s mother, his former girlfriend Lana Allen, had engaged in a long campaign to hurt his relationship with his son and to take away his visitation rights, according to court papers obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Allen alleges in documents filed Aug. 27 that Ariza punched his son in the arm and shoulder and put him in a choke hold on July 25 during a month-long visit at Ariza’s Los Angeles-area home.
The court filings allege Ariza engaged in similar abuse on previous visits, and has violated a court order against using corporal punishment. Allen sent the police to Ariza’s home during the visit, but their investigation was inconclusive, the documents said.
The filing called Ariza’s actions “inexcusable; a parent should never punch and choke their child for any reason.”
The restraining order is in effect until an Oct. 1 hearing on the matter. A subsequent trial over the boy’s custody is also planned.
The court papers include a declaration from the 12-year-old saying he is afraid of his father and does not want to see him, and a photo of a bruised shoulder. Ariza’s response alleges the boy’s mother has been manipulating him into making such statements and has tried to prevent him from testifying in a neutral setting.
Accuses wife of denying legally required visits with son
Ariza’s attorney said Allen filed and withdrew a previous request for a restraining order in order to get the boy back to North Carolina, where she moved with him in 2018. Ariza says that move violated their custody agreement.
Ariza alleges Allen has repeatedly attempted to deny him his legally required visits and has used the court process to keep his son away from him.
The documents said Ariza has been “denied the ability to put these allegations to rest and demonstrate that what is occurring here is in fact Mother’s abuse of the minor child by her relentless, cruel … alienation campaign and selfishly driven attempts to interfere in Father and son’s relationship.”
Ariza, 35, who is playing with his ninth team in his 15th NBA season, said in the documents that he opted out of playing in the NBA bubble with the Trail Blazers, who acquired him from the Sacramento Kings in January, so that he could have the visit with his son, whom he hadn’t seen since December.
Ariza previously told ESPN that “when there were options put on the table, and one of them was to have some time with my son, I chose my family … my job is to be a father before anything else.”
Ariza also has two younger children with his current wife.