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Vinny Paz’s girlfriend claims he didn’t hit her, says she beat herself

Vinny Paz (Warwick Police Department Photo)

Retired Rhode Island boxing champion Vinny Paz pleaded no contest Thursday to charges of assaulting his live-in girlfriend, Alexis Kooger.

But she claims Paz didn’t do it. Instead, she told NBC 10 News she hit herself in the face with her phone.

"I ended up smashing myself because I do that,” Kooger said, adding that she was drunk when she and Paz got in an argument early that morning. “I end up doing stupid stuff to myself that I wouldn't end up doing if I wasn't drunk."

Kooger said the phone inadvertently dialed her ex-husband, who lives in New Jersey, when she was hitting herself with it and he called the police.

She said her ex abused her during their seven-year marriage and he will do anything to ruin her new relationship.

"Everything he said to them was a fabrication and a lie,” Kooger said.

Paz also said the whole thing was blown out of proportion.

“I’m always innocent,” Paz told NBC 10 outside Kent County Court, where he also signed autographs for fans. “Nothing happened.”

Police responded to reports of screaming coming from Paz's house in Warwick at about 3 a.m.

"Upon arrival by the responding officers, they could hear Vinny shouting at someone inside. When the officers knocked on the door, the inside lights were shut off and everything went quiet," Warwick police said in a news release. "With no one answering the door or phones, the officers had to force entry into the home through the garage."

Police said officers found Paz with blood on his right hand and face and that Kooger, had visible injuries. She was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where police said she was treated for minor facial injuries.

Paz was arrested and charged with one count of domestic simple assault and one count of domestic disorderly conduct.

He pleaded no contest in Kent County District Court and was given a one-year suspended sentence, plus one year of probation after his no contest plea.

Paz was also ordered to undergo counseling for domestic violence and substance abuse, but he but said he doesn’t have a problem.

“I don’t have a drink before 10 at night. Ever. Ever. I don’t have a problem. And you know Rhode Island closes at 1, so it’s a couple hours,” Paz said.

Additionally, Paz was ordered to not have any contact with Kooger for the next year.

Yet, Kooger calls out a flawed justice system for the arrest of her boyfriend.

"I will be speaking to whomever I have to to make sure they know that Vinny Paz is totally innocent,” she said. "Vinny -- all he did was take me in and try to take care of me and I will tell everybody that I know that's what happened. He's never put his hands on me."

When NBC 10 asked Paz’s lawyer Andrew Dimitri is the incident was “blown out of proportion,” Dimitri said. “I don’t have a comment on that.”

The five-time boxing champion is no stranger to the courtroom.

Most recently, Paz was arrested in January on felony assault charges after a late-night fight in Providence. He was charged for breaking into a Providence apartment and beating someone up, who he said owed him money.

Paz was still out on bail for that incident when he was arrested Thursday.

The arrests follow a disorderly conduct charge in 2012 when two women claimed that Paz touched them inside a Federal Hill bar.

In 2004, he was arrested on suspicion of DUI and resisting arrest.

Two years prior, he was arrested in Connecticut on a Las Vegas warrant for writing bad checks.

But Paz appeared to be optimistic amid the latest charges.

“I’m cool. Everything’s going work out, like it always does,” Paz said.

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