Police Make Arrest In Wake Of Pacers Strip Club Incident
3:13 AM, Oct 10, 2006
Police have identified and arrested one of two people they said were involved in an altercation that led Indiana Pacers guard Stephen Jackson to fire a gun in apparent self-defense outside a strip club on Friday.Deon Willford, 23, also known as "Dino," faces charges of criminal recklessness, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and operating a vehicle without a license.
Police arrested Willford after interviewing him about Friday's fight at Club Rio, on West 38th Street near Gemco Lane. Willford was found thanks to a tip from Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana, police said."We believe he was operating the vehicle that struck Stephen Jackson," Indianapolis police Sgt. Matthew Mount said.Police also talked with Quentin Willford, also known as "Fingers," in connection with the case. He was released without being charged.Investigators said Tuesday that they believe a third person was with Quentin and Deon during the altercation, but they have not identified that person.Officials said information they have gathered about the disturbance will be sent to the Marion County prosecutor's office.Willford was being held in the Marion County Jail on Tuesday with bond set at $100,000.Police on Monday released recordings of two 911 calls that were made regarding the fight.Investigators said Jackson was with three other Pacers players -- Jamaal Tinsley, Marquis Daniels and Jimmie Hunter -- during an altercation with other people in the strip club's parking lot.
Jackson told police someone hit him in the mouth, and that a car then struck him in the leg, slightly injuring him.At some point in the altercation, Jackson, 28, fired his 9 mm pistol five times, police said. There were no reports of anyone hit by gunfire.Authorities said a small amount of marijuana was found in the passenger-side door of Tinsley's car. Officers could not determine to whom the pot belonged -- three other people had been in the car that night with Tinsley -- so no arrests were made in connection with the marijuana.
Jackson Returns To Practice, Apologizes
Jackson on Tuesday apologized to his team and the team's fans for the incident, which left him with stitches in his lip. Jackson, who on Tuesday attended his first practice since the fight, said he is blessed to have been up and walking the day after the incident. "I want to apologize to my teammates, to the fans and to this organization," Jackson said. "It was a very unfortunate incident. I definitely take responsibility for my action and everything I've done."