Basketball great Shaquille O’Neal is the subject of an investigation for an attack that occurred last May.
O’Neal, 42, played for six different teams during his almost two-decade career in the NBA. Originally from Newark, New Jersey, he was drafted by the Orlando Magic in the 1992 NBA Draft. The four-time NBA champion and three-time NBA Finals MVP retired in 2011, first making an announcement on Twitter, and then holding a press conference at his home in Orlando. A month later, he announced that he was going to join Turner Network Television (TNT) as an NBA Analyst.
His TNT co-worker Robert Williams claims that in May of 2013 the seven-foot-one O’Neal tackled him from behind, knocking him down, resulting in neck and back injuries that required surgery. O’Neal claims it was only horseplay. His counsel Dennis Roach adds that there was never any intention to cause injury. Williams’ camp heavily opposes this claim, and says that the permanent injuries sustained were not due to any form of horseplay.
Williams immediately reported the incident to TNT security, but the company did not file a police report until July last year. The investigation has become more complicated over time, according to Sergeant Greg Lyon, Atlanta P.D. The case was eventually transferred to the departments’ complex case team. Police still cannot tell when the decision will be reached as to whether O’Neal will be prosecuted or not.
Pending the investigation, O’Neal has continued to appear on TNT’s Inside the NBA.
In 2005, O’Neal was a witness to an assault. He reported the incident and helped Miami-Dade police track down the offenders. This resulted in the arrest of two suspects for aggravated battery, assault, and a hate crime. In 2006, he participated in a home raid in Virginia. O’Neal had been made an “honorary deputy” by the local sheriff’s department.
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