Professional basketball players risk season-ending injuries every day on the court. But Thabo Sefolosha of the Atlanta Hawks says his broken fibula and torn ligaments weren't suffered during a game, but during an incident with the NYPD. "I will simply say that I am in great pain, have experienced a significant injury, and that the injury was caused by the police," Sefolosha, on crutches and with a walking boot on his right foot, said yesterday, per USA Today. "On advice of counsel, I hope you can appreciate that I cannot discuss the facts of the case." Sefolosha and teammate Pero Antic were arrested outside a New York nightclub a week ago after a separate incident in which Chris Copeland of the Indiana Pacers was stabbed. A video of Sefolosha's arrest, obtained by TMZ, shows authorities bringing the athlete to the ground before an officer appears to aim a baton at him.
"The video speaks for itself," said Sefolosha, who was charged with resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, and disorderly conduct. Police said Sefolosha was obstructing an investigation into Copeland's stabbing, but video shows Sefolosha's arrest occurred some 100 feet away, ESPN reports; Copeland has since been released from a hospital, and the man who allegedly attacked him was arrested, the station notes. An arrest report says Sefolosha refused requests to disperse, charged an officer, and tightened and flailed his arms so that it took several officers to handcuff him. The NYPD's internal affairs bureau has reached out to Sefolosha for an interview as part of an investigation. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes Sefolosha's injuries will require surgery; he'll be sidelined during the Hawks' postseason run.