WSB-TV in Atlanta reports Shaquille O’Neal is under investigation for an alleged assault at the TNT Studios where “Inside the NBA” is filmed. O’Neal’s lawyer claims the two were engaged in “horseplay” and no charges have been filed while police work the claim.
“(The co-worker) alleged Shaquille O’Neal tackled him to the ground causing injury to his back while they were at work at Turner Studios,” said Sgt. Greg Lyon with the Atlanta Police Department.
The incident took place on May 19 at the studios located at Techwood Drive and 10th Street.
Robert Williams went to the Atlanta Police Department and said that Shaq tackle-punched him, knocking him down and falling on top of him.
Sources told Young that Williams suffered serious injuries.
“I don’t know the extent of his injury, but I have heard that as well, that his injuries were severe to his back,” Lyon said.
No one ever called police that night. O’Neal has not been charged. But the police department is still doing an investigation.
“The investigation was initially handled by the zone and as that investigation deepened, it was transferred (to) the complex case squad,” Lyon said. “At the conclusion of their investigation, we’ll have their findings and we’ll go forth from there, whether charges will be filed, whether it be reviewed by the DA’s Office.”
O’Neal’s attorney, Dennis Roach, released a statement denying the allegations:
“This was nothing more than horseplay. No one intended for anyone to get injured.”
And Williams attorney also released a statement denying that his client participated in any such “horseplay.”
“We understand that the physical attack by Shaquille O’Neal upon Mr. Robert Williams is under criminal investigation. Mr. Williams is presently recovering after surgery.
“However, he does state emphatically, that the permanent injuries he received were not the result of participation in any form of ‘horseplay.’”
A few things: one, Shaq hasn’t been charged with anything, so people shouldn’t rush to judgement. Two, anyone that watches “Inside the NBA” on TNT knows they like to have a good time and mess with each other.
In fact, Charles Barkley tried to tackle Shaq during TNT’s coverage of the playoffs last year while Shaq’s attention was elsewhere. The Big Aristotle turned the tables on Chuck during the ensuing tussle, and threw the Round Mound of Rebound over a love seat in the green room. They were all laughing about it afterwards.
The third aspect we want to point out is that if Shaq did initiate a brand of roughhousing the accuser tried to avoid before seriously injuring his back, that’s not good for the Hall of Fame center â€” though we’re not sure it’s criminal. We don’t have any facts except what the accuser has said in a statement to police to push criminal charges and Shaq’s obviously tempered response through his lawyer. It’s important to note again, Shaq hasn’t been charged with a crime yet as the police continue to investigate the claim.
What do you think?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerTyrel.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.