Witness details Higbee incident

Published: Apr. 11, 2016 at 4:17 PM CDT
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A Bowling Green Police Department citation details a tense situation that started at Dublin's and continued to Tidball's parking lot, by the Shogun food truck just before 2 a.m. Sunday morning in Bowling Green.

One witness says what he saw, but says he would like to remain anonymous because of the serious matter. The witness said words started to be exchanged between Nawaf Alsaleh and former Western Kentucky football player Tyler Higbee and Higbee's friend. He could tell there was an argument and a saw a few shoves exchanged.

"Not real hard or anything, just sort of, it didn't really even seem like a big deal," the witness said. "Even the girlfriend, the girlfriend told us 'Oh you know, they're friends they fight like this whenever they get drunk.' "

The witness says Alsaleh walked away from the group, coming back a few minutes later, with his phone out.

"Without even like a second thought, Higbee like just punched him. Just knocked him out, to the ground, one punch," the witness said.

He continued to say Higbee's girlfriend was crying over Alsaleh asking if he was okay.

"Higbee acts like he's about to leave, but then comes back and that's when he stands over the guy and he says, 'ISIS these n*** b****' a couple of times," the witness added.

The witness says he and many others saw the incident and were in shock.

"So you know, everybody that was there that witnessed it, was just like, you know really panicking about this guy that just got knocked down on the ground," the witness said. "This vulgar display of power that this guy just showed."

The Skyline Medical Center says Alsaleh is still in serious condition as of Monday afternoon.

Higbee's first court appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. May 5.

The witness audio account of the incident is attached to this story and transcribed below:

“We were at Tidball’s and we went around the corner to the Shogun’s food truck ... we were just gonna get something to eat and go home. There were a group of like five people which, I guess, like Higbee, and his friend, and Higbee’s girlfriend and his friend’s girlfriend, and then the individual who Higbee punched.”

“They were all in a group together, and they were at the window, they had just ordered food. Higbee and the guy were kind of arguing, kind of bickering, like kind of pushing each other but not like real hard or anything. It didn’t really seem like a big deal, even to the girlfriend, because the girlfriend told us like ‘Oh well, you know, they’re friends, they just get like this whenever they get drunk.’ You know, they argue and fight or whatever.”

“So they got out of our way, I ordered my food, and I guess he got his food and they kind of stood off in the parking lot. At this point the victim left the group, like for a few minutes, I don’t know, he went around to the front of Tidball’s or something. And then he came back around and he had his phone out. I don’t know if he was on his phone or what he was doing, and he was walking up to the group with Higbee and was saying like ‘No’ or something like that, and without even a second thought Higbee, like, punched him, just socked him out to the ground, one punch.”

“At that point, Higbee’s girlfriend goes to the ground and is crying, and you know, freaking out about it, saying ‘Are you ok? Are you ok?’ Higbee’s friend and that girl leave immediately. Higbee acts like he’s about to leave, but then comes back. That’s when he stands over the guy and says ‘ISIS these n--s, b----h’ a couple of times, and something else to that effect. Then he also leaves.”

“At this point someone had already called the police. I think right before the police came Higbee’s girlfriend also left, and they were all gone. So that’s what I saw that night.”