Utah Jazz players give false info to police
It was a typical bar brawl outside of Harry O’s on Main Street, but the fact that Robert Whaley and Deron Williams play for the Utah Jazz changes the dynamics, according to Park City Police Lt. Rick Ryan. Police, however, did not initially recognize Whaley, six-foot-10, and Williams, six-foot-three, as NBA rookie players Sunday at 1:15 a.m., Ryan said. So when the two players gave false names to police Williams gave Torry Ellis and Whaley said his name was Bobby Williams the police didn’t question them. That is, until one officer thought to surf the Internet. "There had been discussion [about the fact that the two played for the Utah Jazz] during the incident, so an officer went onto the Jazz Web site and identified them from pictures," Ryan explained. Police then contacted the Utah Jazz, and reported the incident. Wednesday, the players turned themselves in to Park City police and were cited for giving false information to a peace officer, a class C misdemeanor. Though Whaley received six stitches on his right hand following the fight, of the eight to 10 individuals involved in the altercation, the teammates only played a marginal role, according to Ryan. For the most part, the fight involved throwing garbage cans and yelling.
"They didn’t start the fight and they did not get arrested. If they had just given their real names, they wouldn’t have been cited," he said.
The fight began inside the nightclub, instigated by several Denver Nuggets fans who recognized the Jazz players at the bar, Ryan reported. The individuals involved were then asked to leave by Harry O’s employees, he said, which is when Affan Arslanagic, 29, of Boulder, Colo., threw a bottle at a security guard, fracturing his arm. Arslanagic was arrested and taken to Summit County Jail. He was later released on bail and will need to appear in court on assault charges. Williams and Whaley will also need to appear in court. A class C misdemeanor carries a potential penalty of a $750 fine and up to 90 days in jail.
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Utah’s legislative general session is set to end on Friday, and if history is any indicator, there will be a flurry of floor amendments and last-minute changes for county officials to monitor.