Sources: Artest among those to face charges

Originally Published: December 7, 2004
ESPN.com news services

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Police turned the findings from their investigation of the Pacers-Pistons brawl over to the Oakland County prosecutor on Monday, and charges are expected to be announced Wednesday.

Sources have told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith that the district attorney's office in Auburn Hills, Mich., will formally announce charges against five Pacers players. According to Smith, Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal, Stephen Jackson, David Harrison, and Anthony Johnson will all be charged for their roles in the Nov. 19 brawl with fans attending the game against the Pistons.

Specifics of the charges are not yet known.

Prosecutor David Gorcyca has said the players and fans could be charged with misdemeanor assault and battery. The only possible felony charge under consideration would be against whoever threw the chair.

"Warrants will be issued based largely upon the numerous and lengthy video tape, as well as approximately 1,000 pages of reports. Everyone involved in the violation of a state law will be held accountable, regardless of their stature at the game," Gorcyca's office said in a statement.

The fight among spectators and players broke out after an on-court dispute over a foul during the game. A fan hurled a drink at Artest, who then charged into the stands. Other Pacers players and fans joined the melee. Several people, including a police officer, were hit with a chair that was thrown.

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