CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The fifth day of the trial of a Carolina Panthers player accused of physically assaulting a man at a strip club in Charlotte two years ago got underway Tuesday with the accused taking the stand.
Gregory Frye is suing Jon Beason, a linebacker for the Carolina Panthers. Frye alleges that Beason punched him at the Uptown Cabaret near center city in November 2009 and that the assault crushed Frye's nasal cavity.
Beason is counter-suing Frye for only $1. It is not clear how much money Frye is seeking.
Beason testified in court Tuesday morning. He said several people at the club told him Frye was spreading rumors at the club by saying Beason had used cocaine at a party. Beason says he's never done cocaine.
"I was so blown away by the accusations that I couldn't control myself and at that time I attempted to take a swing at Mr. Frye," said Beason.
Beason said he couldn't believe it and got angry. When he confronted Frye, Beason says he took a swing, but missed.
Beason later got a little choked up when he talked about his arrest, and when his mug shot was taken.
During cross examination, Frye's attorneys set out to prove the professional athlete could pack a powerful punch.
They presented a picture of Beason lifting a woman on each arm during a party.
"Though you're strong enough to hold a lady in each arm who are both arguably bigger than Joey Simmons, you're saying that Joey Simmons had the strength to stop your arm in mid swing?," asked Frye's attorney.
"Yes, that's what I'm saying," replied Beason.
An officer with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department who filed the report after the alleged assault testified in court Monday morning. The cop said Frye claimed that Beason punched him.
The officer also said Beason's friend, Joseph Simmons, said Beason attempted to punch Frye, but missed. Simmons told the detective he then told Beason to leave the club.
Also on Monday, Beason's former high school coach, Tim Lester, testified in court. Lester was at the Uptown Cabaret on November 15, 2009. If Beason punched Frye, Lester says he didn't know about it.
"That could've never happened, never been done by Jon," said Lester.
Lester says he was shocked when he heard Frye was spreading rumors.
Last week, Frye testified in court that he saw Beason using cocaine at a party during the summer of 2009 and that's what led him to confront Frye.
"That kind of upset me," said Lester, "I know Jon, and I know he would never do cocaine."
Lester says he left with Beason that night, but he says he and Beason never talked about the incident.
The defense called several witnesses to the stand on Monday in an effort to discredit Frye's claims.
Several CMPD officers who responded to the incident said that Frye smelled of alcohol and lied to them about being a Carolina Panthers player.
Last Thursday, Frye testified that Beason punched him in the face.
"I felt the reason he assaulted me was because in June 2009, I witnessed Jon Beason do cocaine through a straw with a female," Frye said.
On Friday, Frye's attorney showed pictures to the jurors of his client's bloody face following the attack.
Carolina Panthers player Dante Rosario testified on Friday. Rosario said he saw Frye on November 15, 2009, at the Strike City bowling alley at the Epicentre in uptown Charlotte and later saw Frye at a VIP room at the Uptown Cabaret.
Rosario said Frye approached him in the club and pointed to Beason, saying, "Hey, that guy over there, he's a teammate of yours, I saw him doing cocaine out at Lake Norman in the summer."
Rosario was surprised by the accusation and immediately told Beason what Frye said.
"It was unbelievable to him (Beason), that someone he didn't know was talking about him," Rosario told the court.
Rosario said Beason went to the front bar area and confronted Frye about the accusation.
Rosario said he wasn't sure wasn't sure what happened next. When he walked outside the club, he saw Frye holding a bloody napkin over his face.
"He (Beason) said that someone hit Mr. Frye," Rosario said on the stand.
Beason's friend and private chef Joseph Simmons, also testified Friday. He claims he saw Beason confront Frye and pulled him away, but he never saw him throw a punch.
Beason denied ever doing drugs. He's suing for malicious prosecution, slander and damages.
Frye is suing for battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and damages.Click here to order Jon Beason’s proCane Rookie Card.