A television reporter has filed an assault complaint against Detroit Pistons captain Isiah Thomas, saying the star guard tried to choke him outside a team practice.
Virg Jacques, a sports reporter with Detroit's WJBK-TV, filed an assault and battery complaint Tuesday against Thomas, saying Thomas choked him and threw him against a car.Jacques said he didn't know what provoked the assault in a parking lot
outside a gymnasium at Oakland University, where the Pistons had just concluded an informal practice.
"If you want to know what his reasoning was, you'll have to ask him," said Jacques, who went to the gym to prepare a training camp story on the Pistons, who open workouts Friday at the University of Windsor.
Jacques, who said he was cut on the neck, filed the complaint with the university's Department of Public Safety. Its officers have arrest powers as Oakland County sheriff's deputies.
"A complaint has been filed and we are investigating," Sgt. Al Steele said. He declined to comment further.
Jacques said he had followed Thomas out of the gym and was walking to his own car when Thomas called to him.
"He said, `Hey, come here, man, I want to talk to you for a minute,' " Jacques said. "He said, `Forget it,' and walked away."
Thomas then called Jacques over to his car again and "started shouting and put his hands around my neck and shoved me against a car. He was shouting, `Get out of my face' and `Get the hell out of my way,"' the reporter said.
Thomas then got into his car and drove away after shouting, "Get the hell out of my way. I'm going to run you down," Jacques said.
Dobek said he learned from Thomas and center James Edwards, who witnessed the confrontation, that Jacques followed Thomas out of the gym and refused to let Thomas into the player's car.
After Thomas gained entry, Jacques stood in front of the car as Thomas tried to drive away, Dobek said.