Results 1 to 1 of 1
Thread: Pacers / Fans warrants issued
12-08-2004, 11:50 AM #1click click boom
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
Pacers / Fans warrants issued
DETROIT -- Five Indiana Pacers players were charged Wednesday with assault and battery in a brawl that broke out on the court last month and spilled into the stands at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Five fans also were charged, according to a news report.
All charges were misdemeanor assault and battery -- except for one count of felony assault against a fan accused of throwing a chair -- according to WXYZ-TV in Detroit.
Auburn Hills police Detective Brian Martin on Wednesday morning requested arrest warrants against the five Pacers players in 52nd District Court in Rochester Hills. Martin said Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, David Harrison and Anthony Johnson each were being charged with one count of assault and battery, a 93-day misdemeanor. Jermaine O'Neal was charged with two counts of assault and battery, he said.
Bloomfield Hills attorney James W. Burdick, who represents Jackson, said it was "unfair and inappropriate" to charge his client for his actions during the brawl. Jackson is seen in TV footage punching fans in the stands.
"The problem is this: a few crazed drunken fans who created a chaotic situation," Burdick said. "Steve responded in a way that he thought was necessary to protect himself and protect his friends."
Walter Piszczatowski, a lawyer for Harrison, who is seen on tape punching a fan, also said Harrison's actions were reasonable in the context of the brawl.
"David was acting as the peacekeeper throughout that evening," he said. "He was trying to make sure everybody was safe."
Five fans also were charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, WXYZ reported. John Green, 39 and of Oakland County's West Bloomfield Township, was charged with a second count of assault and battery, the station said. Green is accused of throwing a plastic cup containing a drink that sparked the brawl.
Bryant Jackson, 35 and of Genesee County's Mundy Township, was charged with felony assault on accusations that he threw a chair into the crowd, and David Wallace, 33 and of Selma, Ala., the brother of Pistons center Ben Wallace, is one of three fans charged with a single count each of misdemeanor assault and battery, according to WXYZ.
Assault and battery carries a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. Felonious assault carries up to four years' imprisonment.
The fight among spectators and players broke out near the end of the game after an on-court dispute over a foul. A fan tossed a drink at Artest, who then charged into the stands and began beating a man he thought had done it.
Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca said Monday that his decision on charges would be based on videotapes of the brawl and about 1,000 pages of reports. Gorcyca planned a 2 p.m. EST news conference Wednesday to announce the charges.
Two days after the brawl, NBA Commissioner David Stern issued lengthy suspensions against several players. He suspended Artest for the season, Jackson for 30 games and O'Neal for 25. Ben Wallace got six games and Johnson got five. Four players were suspended for a game apiece: Indiana's Reggie Miller and Detroit's Chauncey Billups, Elden Campbell and Derrick Coleman.