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Hawks' Williams carjacked at gunpoint before game vs. Bobcats

12/16/2007 - NBA Shelden Williams Atlanta Hawks + more

ATLANTA -- Atlanta forward Shelden Williams escaped without
injury when he was carjacked at gunpoint Saturday before the Hawks'
game against Charlotte.

Two suspects were arrested with his car hours later.

Douglasville City Police said two suspects were arrested late
Saturday afternoon at Arbor Place Mall in Douglas County, near
Atlanta. The suspects were in Williams' car and were attempting a
robbery, according to an officer who answered the phone at the
Douglasville Police Department.

The officer, who declined to give her name, said one suspect was
taken to a hospital after suffering dog bites from the police
canine unit during the arrest.

As of late Saturday night, the suspect was still hospitalized,
but his injuries are not serious, according to the Douglasville
police. The officer said the names of the suspects wouldn't be
released Saturday night.

Fulton County Police spokesman Gary Syblis said Williams was
approached by two men outside a barber shop. One man pulled out a
gun and demanded Williams' keys to his 2008 Chrysler, according to
Syblis.

Hawks spokesman Arthur Triche says Williams provided police with
the license plate number of the vehicle used by the carjackers,
leading to a search that led to two suspects being arrested at a
mall in Douglas County. Williams' car was found at the scene.

"I'm just glad that he's safe," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said.

"Cars and things like that, jewelry, money, all that can be
replaced."

Triche said Williams' car was damaged when found.

Williams reported to Philips Arena before the game but missed
the team's pregame workout. He made his first appearance in the
game against the Bobcats late in the third quarter and played only
two minutes.

For the season, he's is averaging 3.1 points and 3.1 rebounds.

Williams' teammates said they were just glad to see him
unharmed.

"It's so sad what happens out in the world today," Marvin Williams said. "Guys work so hard and for someone to come up and
take it from you that quick, it's sad. Shelden is a tough guy. I'm
sure he'll bounce back from it. I just thank God that nothing
happened to him."

Shelden Williams told Woodson and other team officials about the
incident when he reported for the game. He said the car was stolen
outside an Atlanta barber shop.

Williams declined comment to The Associated Press before the
game but told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution "It's been a long
day, but I'm fine."

Williams huddled with a Hawks' security official in the locker
room after the game. He did not make himself available for
interviews.

Syblis said Williams, a second-year player from Duke, did not
identify himself as a player for the Hawks.

Syblis says the incident occurred outside a barber shop on
Cascade Road in Atlanta, providing another example that athletes
don't have to be in dangerous areas to be targeted.

"You've got to be really careful who you're with, where you're
going, things of that nature," Hawks guard Joe Johnson said. "I
mean, I don't know, a lot of athletes are being targeted the last
month or two.

"It could have been worse. Luckily it wasn't. Luckily he was
able to walk away from it. That's the main thing. Everything else
is materialistic."

The incident is only the latest in a series of attacks on
professional athletes. Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor was
shot and killed at his home in what is believed to have been a
botched burglary.

Earlier this month, Indiana Pacers guard Jamaal Tinsley and his
entourage were shot at in a parking lot outside a five-star hotel
in Indianapolis.