Report: Thabo Sefolosha followed by aggressive police officer then arrested

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Hawks guard Thabo Sefolosha claims police caused his season-ending injury.

Police say Sefolosha refused to leave the area of the crime scene and then resisted arrest.

Sefolosha has declined to address specifics of that night, which also saw Pacers forward Chris Copeland stabbed and Hawks center Pero Antic arrested, but this probably sheds light on his version of events.

Greg Hanlon of Sports Illustrated:

According to the criminal complaint against Sefolosha, an officer arrested the Hawks player and teammate Pero Antic after they refused six times to comply with his request to disperse from the crime scene. According to the complaint, an officer “observed the defendant Thabo Sefolosha run in an aggressive manner towards the direction” of another officer.

But according to the source, it was the officer who was the initial aggressor. The source said that while officers were dispersing dozens of people near the scene, one officer focused on Sefolosha, “and then he continues to track him down the block like a D-back tracking a receiver.”

At the time, the source said, Sefolosha and Antic were walking down the block to get into a car that would take them back to their team hotel. The source said Sefolosha did not run toward the cop as the complaint said. Rather, the source said “Sefolosha turns to him and asked in substance what the officer’s problem was with him.’” At this point, the source said, Sefolosha and the officer got into an argument, which led to Sefolosha’s arrest for obstruction of  a governmental function, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. The arrest took place at the corner of 10th Avenue, more than 120 feet away from the scene of the stabbing at 1OAK night club.

Antic was also arrested and charged with obstructing a governmental function, disorderly conduct, and harassment. According to an NYPD spokesperson, he was initially charged with menacing “for physically grabbing a police officer,” but these charges do not appear in the criminal complaint against him. The source said that rather than grabbing the officer, Antic “tapped the officer on the shoulder.”

This is obviously only one side of the story – and it comes third-hand at best.

But if Sefolosha was arrested 120 feet from the stabbing, that should raise questions about the police’s claim he refused to leave the area of the crime. It is possible, though, he initially refused to leave and then got 120 feet away while resisting arrest.

On the other hand, the video above shows multiple officers tugging Sefolosha (and one hitting him with a nightstick), which doesn’t jive with claim of one officer aggressively following him. It is possible, though, this video begins after other officers arrived to help the single officer described in Hanlon’s report.

Essentially, we have more information – but maybe even more uncertainty about what actually happened.