OAKLAND (KPIX) — The Alameda County Sheriff’s office is recommending charges for the Toronto Raptors executive who shoved a deputy during Thursday night’s Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
A longtime Warriors season ticket holder said he saw the entire incident and says he was standing less than a foot from the deputy when it happened.READ MORE: Slow Recovery Prompts Businesses to Rethink Their Future in Downtown San Francisco
He says it was all a misunderstanding due to the postgame chaos.
“So it was about 30 seconds of action. We left and I didn’t think anything else about it except ‘oh wow, that was something else,'” said Greg Wiener, who has been a Warriors season ticket holder for more than 20 years.
Wiener says he was there when Raptors president Masai Ujiri got into a scuffle with an Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy while trying to get onto the court for the postgame celebration.
“The policeman steps in front of me, stops Mr. Ujiri by touching him in the chest. Mr. Ujiri steps back, still tried to enter the court, policeman stops him again, then Mr. Ujiri shoved the policeman,” says Greg.
The deputy told investigators he was trying to stop the Raptors president because he did not know who he was and he was not wearing identification.
“I think Mr. Ujiri was excited his team won the championship and just wanted to join those fellows and I think the police man was trying to do his job and not allow unauthorized people onto the court,” Wiener said.READ MORE: South Bay Restaurants Raise Money for Anti-Hate Efforts Supporting AAPI Community
The sheriff’s office did not arrest Ujiri immediately after the incident.
“We did show restraint in the fact that he was the president of the Raptors. We did not want to go out onto the court and create any type of spectacle,” says Sgt. Ray Kelly, the spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriffs Office.
Investigators with the sheriffs office said they have video of the entire incident — from both the body camera of the deputy involved and also from security cameras inside Oracle Arena.
The deputy went to the hospital suffering from head pain after the incident but Wiener said the deputy was never hit or punched.
“All I saw was Mr. Ujiri shove the policeman right in the chest. That’s what I saw,” said Wiener.
The sheriff’s office will turn the case over to the district attorney’s office next week. According to Sgt. Kelly, they are recommending a charge of misdemeanor battery on an officer.
The sheriff’s office indicated they cannot release the body camera video right now because it’s part of a criminal investigation but might release it in the future.MORE NEWS: San Jose State University President Says Ex-Trainer Improperly Touched Athletes
Ujiri was fined twice last year year by the NBA — once for confronting a referee and for cursing during a speech.