Pacers Players to Be Charged in NBA Brawl

Published November 30, 2004

| Associated Press

Members of the Indiana Pacers (search) will be charged in the brawl that broke out Nov. 19 when the Pacers played the Detroit Pistons (search) at The Palace of Auburn Hills, Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca says.

There is no doubt that Indiana players punched fans at the game, Gorcyca said Monday.

"Whoever was involved in fisticuffs will be charged, regardless if they were wearing a jersey. It's obvious there were several Pacer players and fans that dealt blows," Gorcyca told The Detroit News. He declined to specify which players or what charges he expects to file.

Auburn Hills police Lt. James Manning said he expects four Pacers players to face assault and battery charges. He said a Pacers lawyer said none of the players would participate in police interviews. Prosecutors could get the police report by the beginning of next week, the lieutenant said.

Also Monday, police said they have identified a man they say threw a chair during a brawl that broke out during a Pacers-Pistons game earlier this month.

The suspect, a 35-year-old resident of Genesee County's Mundy Township, is a Pistons season-ticket holder, police said. They did not name him.

Manning said police have met with the man's attorney. The lawyer, Kenneth Karasick, said it was unclear whether his client threw the chair.

The fight between spectators and players broke out near the end of the game after an on-court dispute over a foul. A fan hurled a drink at Indiana forward Ron Artest (search), who charged into the stands and began beating a man. Other Pacers players and fans then joined the brawl.

Gorcyca has said the man who threw the chair, which hit a police officer and several other people, could be charged with felony assault. Other participants could be charged with misdemeanor assault and battery.

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