AP

Raptors’ President Encounter With Deputy Being Investigated

Jun 15, 2019, 9:47 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:05 pm
TORONTO, ON - MAY 21: General manager Masai Ujiri of the Toronto Raptors before the start of their game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on May 21, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Prosecutors will decide whether to charge Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri with misdemeanor battery after he was accused of shoving and hitting a sheriff’s deputy in the face while trying to join his team on the court to celebrate their first NBA championship.

Alameda County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said Friday that investigators are reviewing footage from body cameras worn by the deputy and other officers, the stadium’s surveillance video and cellphone video. He said a report will be forwarded prosecutors.

After the game Thursday night in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors, Ujiri tried to walk past the deputy who was checking court-access credentials, Kelly said. When the deputy stopped him, Ujiri shoved him back several feet and yelled obscenities, Kelly said.

“That’s when our deputy goes hands-on and moves Mr. Ujiri back from the court. Mr. Ujiri made a second, more significant shove and during that shove his arm struck our deputy in the side of the head,” Kelly said.

The deputy complained of pain in his jaw and was taken to a hospital for evaluation and later released.

A video of the altercation obtained by NBC Bay Area shows Ujiri and a deputy being held back courtside by several bystanders. It doesn’t show the scuffle. The video appeared to show Ujiri holding some type of credential in his right hand while standing by the court.

Greg Wiener, a 61-year-old Warriors’ season ticket holder, said Friday he was standing next to the deputy during the encounter and didn’t see Ujiri strike him in the face.

Wiener said the encounter began when the deputy put his hand on Ujiri’s chest and pushed him. Ujiri shoved him back before bystanders intervened, Wiener said.

“The thing about the cops saying the policeman asked for his credentials, that didn’t happen. There was no conversation at all,” Wiener said. “This part about striking him in the face, yeah that didn’t happen.”

Wiener said he hadn’t been interviewed by authorities.

“This looks like somebody trying to embellish what happened to protect what they did, what the policeman did,” Wiener said.

Kelly said deputies took witness statements and were reviewing footage from body cameras worn by the deputy along with footage from the arena surveillance system and cellphones.

“We had the opportunity to make an arrest and we chose not to,” Kelly said. “We decided it would be in everyone’s best interest to slow things down and do an investigation.”

The Raptors said the team is also looking into the altercation and cooperating with authorities.

“We look forward to resolving the situation,” the team said.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the league also was cooperating with authorities.

“We are in contact with the Raptors and local authorities and in the process of gathering more information,” Bass said.

ESPN reported that Ujiri had watched the end of the game on television with other team officials outside the Raptors’ locker room. He then went down a tunnel to join the on-court celebration.

Kelly said deputies had instructions to strictly enforce the NBA’s credential policy.

He said his office will recommend a charge of misdemeanor battery against an officer even though he understood that Ujiri had a tremendous amount of emotion while trying to meet his team on the court.

The results of the investigation likely will be forwarded next week to the Alameda County district attorney’s office. A spokeswoman for the agency didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“It will be up to the DA to file charges,” Kelly said.

Toronto Mayor John Tory came to Ujiri’s defense.

“Anybody who knows anything about him would say that some notion that he would be shoving people around in Oakland or elsewhere in the world is not credible,” Tory said.

Last week, the NBA banned Golden State Warriors investor Mark Stevens from games for a year and fined him $500,000 after he was seen on camera apparently shoving Toronto star Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of the playoffs.

Lowry had dived into a row of courtside seats to try to save a loose ball. Stevens, wearing an NBA-issued credential, was seated about two spots away from where Lowry landed and shoved Lowry in the upper body.

Lowry said Stevens repeated a vulgar phrase to him about four times. The Warriors issued a statement, with the team and Stevens apologizing to Lowry and the Raptors.
___
Gillies reported from Toronto.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

AP

How to Beat Inflation...
CHRISTOPHER RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

Fed officials call for more rate hikes to fight inflation

The Federal Reserve will have to keep boosting its benchmark interest rate to a point that raises unemployment and gets inflation down from unusually high levels.
1 day ago
TOKYO, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 26: Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (R) greets U.S. Vice President Ka...
CHRIS MEGERIAN and MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press

In Tokyo, Harris calls US-Japan alliance ‘a cornerstone’

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has arrived in Tokyo to lead a U.S. delegation to the state funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in July.
1 day ago
...
Associated Press

Chief: Man shot by Chicago police infiltrated SWAT training

Chicago's police chief says a man used a fire escape to infiltrate a police facility where officers were undergoing a SWAT training exercise and grabbed at least two guns
1 day ago
Police and paramedics work at the scene of a shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, ...
Associated Press

15 dead, 24 wounded in school shooting in Russia

A gunman opened fire in a school in central Russia on Monday, killing 15 people and wounding 24 others before shooting himself.
1 day ago
TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 05: Pedestrians wearing face masks are reflected in an electronic screen sh...
YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer

Asian shares mostly decline echoing US slide on rate worries

Asian shares are mostly lower, reflecting pessimism over weakness on Wall Street as the squeeze by central banks around the world to curb inflation weighs on investor sentiment.
2 days ago
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 17: Miguel Diaz Canel, President of Cuba poses during a state visit t...
CRISTIANA MESQUITA, Associated Press

Cuba holds unusual vote on law allowing same-sex marriage

Cuba is holding a rare referendum on an unusually contentious law — a government-backed code that would allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Raptors’ President Encounter With Deputy Being Investigated