Ex-NBA player Mercer allegedly involved in strip club fight

Updated: July 26, 2007, 1:18 AM ET
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Former NBA player Ron Mercer surrendered to police on Wednesday to face a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from a scuffle in a strip club in April, police said.

Mercer, 31, is a Nashville native who was waived by the New Jersey Nets in 2005 after missing more than 60 games due to injury.

Police said Mercer's friend, 34-year-old Robert Edward Johnson, was also charged with felony aggravated assault for stabbing a bouncer at the club in the same incident.

The pair got into a verbal argument with a dancer at Anthony's Show Place on April 21 and were asked to leave by the security guard, Keith Battle.

A fight broke out among the three men and Johnson admitted to police that he stabbed the bouncer in the right side and shoulder with a knife. Battle was not seriously hurt.

Another bouncer, William Beels Jr., was punched in the face by Mercer, police said.

Mercer was released on $1,500 bond and Johnson was released on $5,000 bond. Both were scheduled to appear in court Aug. 13, records show.

Neither man could be reached for comment on Wednesday night. No listed number for Mercer or Johnson could be found in the Nashville area, where both men live. It was not immediately known if they had retained attorneys.

Mercer was an All-American and all-Southeastern Conference player at Kentucky, where he was a freshman on the 1996 NCAA championship team.

After being the sixth overall pick in the 1997 draft by the Boston Celtics, he was traded around the league before being hampered by injuries and cut by the Nets.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press