Shaq pursues alleged hit-and-run driver, flags police

Updated: January 28, 2007, 10:46 PM ET
Associated Press

MIAMI -- Shaquille O'Neal put his police skills to use early Sunday.

 Shaquille O'Neal
O'Neal

O'Neal, the Miami Heat's All-Star center and a reserve officer with the Miami Beach Police Department, followed a driver who allegedly crashed into his Cadillac Escalade and tried to flee the scene, the team said.

O'Neal and bodyguard Jerome Crawford followed the driver for about five minutes. When the driver, identified by The Miami Herald as 18-year-old Emmnueo Cibrin of Tampa, stopped near a gas station, O'Neal approached the car and summoned a nearby police officer.

Police did not release an incident report Sunday night. Miami-Dade Corrections officials said they had no record of anyone by Cibrin's name being booked on a criminal charge, and it was unclear if he was ticketed for any moving violations.

The incident happened around 4 a.m., shortly after the Heat got home from a Saturday game in Chicago. O'Neal was helping Crawford, a team security official, unload luggage outside Crawford's home in Miami's Coconut Grove neighborhood when the accident occurred.

O'Neal, through the team, said Sunday night that he followed proper police protocol during the chase, including pursuing at a safe distance and speed. He contacted police officers along the way, he said.

O'Neal was sworn in as a reserve officer in 2005. He has long said he intends to pursue a career in law enforcement when he retires from basketball.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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