Whaley, Williams are cited

Published: Thursday, Dec. 15 2005 12:01 a.m. MST

A Denver Nuggets fan may have helped land two Jazz players in hot water with Park City police.

Jazz rookies Robert Whaley and Deron Williams were issued class C misdemeanor citations Wednesday for allegedly lying to police about their identities following a scuffle at a Park City club over the weekend.

Whaley also admitted Wednesday that he lied about how he sustained a laceration to his right hand that required six stitches to close.

Because of the injury, big man Whaley did not play in the Jazz's Delta Center win over Portland on Wednesday night. Point guard Williams did, returning to the starting lineup after missing Monday's victory over Detroit because of dizzy spells the team said were brought on by an ear infection.

Jazz basketball operations senior vice president Kevin O'Connor said Whaley will be disciplined, but it appears for now that his place on the team is safe.

"There will be some form of punishment," O'Connor said. "What that punishment will be — I don't know yet.

"With actions come consequences," he added, "and there are going to be some consequences with this."

O'Connor also said it remains to be seen if Williams also will be disciplined by the team.

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, meanwhile, sounded ready to put the matter to rest: "He apologized," Sloan said of Whaley. "That's all you can do."

The incident occurred about 1:15 a.m. Sunday at Harry O's on Main Street in Park City when a Boulder, Colo., man, Affan Arslanagic, 29, apparently picked a fight with Williams and Whaley inside the club, Park City Police Lt. Rick Ryan said.

The avid Denver Nuggets fan apparently was very vocal in expressing his dislike for the Jazz, Ryan said.

There also were allegations of racial epithets from bar patrons toward the Jazz players.

Ryan said the argument became heated and Arslanagic at one point threw a beer bottle, striking and fracturing a club employee's arm.

Arslanagic was arrested for investigation of assault and was booked into the Summit County Jail. He later was released on bail.

Whaley apparently was injured while at the bar, but he maintains it happened before the incident with Arslanagic unfolded.

"Saturday evening I accidentally cut my hand on a glass while at an establishment in Park City," Whaley said, reading from a statement Wednesday night apparently prepared with the assistance of team officials. "This accident is unrelated to any altercation."

Witnesses reportedly saw Whaley cut the hand while trying to get a piece of hard candy from a glass container, though it remains somewhat unclear whether that happened before or after the disagreement began.

Ryan, who said details of Whaley's hand injury were unclear, did say Arslanagic did not use the broken glass as a weapon.

The Jazz players, Arslanagic and a couple of others were thrown out of the club, but the scuffle continued on the street. When officers arrived, they found seven people "in the middle of Main Street yelling at each other, gesturing at each other and throwing garbage cans," Ryan said.

At one point, a garbage can reportedly was hurled at the car of one of the Jazz players.

The Jazz maintain the incident was merely "a verbal altercation."

Officers questioned those involved, but Whaley and Williams allegedly gave them false names — Whaley claimed to be Bobby Wiliams, and Williams said he was Torrey Ellis.

"They used fictitious names and dates of birth when the officers asked for information," Ryan said.

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