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Deputy Sues NBA Exec Who Hit Him While Rushing The Court

A police officer says a NBA executive punched him in the face and neck trying to get onto the court

Oakland, CA – A California sheriff’s deputy has sued Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri claiming that he was seriously injured by the National Basketball Association (NBA) executive when he rushed the court after his team won the championship.

The altercation occurred just moments after the Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in the National Basketball Association (NBA) championship game in Oakland on June 13, 2019, USA Today reported.

Masai Ujiri, president of the Raptors, made a run for the court after his team won, but he wasn’t displaying the proper credentials to get onto the court.

NBA rules said anyone going onto the basketball court had to have a gold armband, USA Today.

It wasn’t known if Ujiri had an armband with him but video showed he was not wearing it or otherwise displaying it when he tried to get through the security line.

So a deputy stopped the team’s executive from accessing the court where his team was celebrating, and it didn’t go over well, USA Today reported.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Ray Kelly said that Ujiri used his arm to hit the deputy on the side of the face, KPIX reported.

Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern had asked that Ujiri be charged with battery of a police officer, according to The Globe and Mail.

But the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office in October said it declined to press charges against the NBA executive.

Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Teresa Drenick said she recommended the dispute be resolved through mediation, The Globe and Mail reported.

So on Feb. 7, Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy Alan Strickland filed a federal lawsuit against Ujiri in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, according to USA Today.

Deputy Strickland and his wife Kelly Strickland said they wanted a trial by jury to resolve the dispute.

The deputy’s lawsuit alleged that Ujiri attacked him and “hit him in the face and chest with both fists,” USA Today reported.

The suit said that Deputy Strickland had “suffered, and will continue to suffer, physical, mental, emotional, and economic injuries, including, but not limited to, lost wages, lost opportunity for financial gain, future earning capacity, and past and future medical care and expenses.”

The lawsuit asked for $75,000 in general damages for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, two counts of negligence, and loss of consortium, USA Today reported.

It also asked the jury for punitive damages, medical and incidental expenses, future medical and incidental expenses, loss of earnings, prejudgment interest, property damage, legal fees, and any other relief the court would find, USA Today reported.

Tom Gantert - February Wed, 2020


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