Atlanta Hawks' Sefolosha found not guilty in night club arrest case

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 09, 2015 1:33 PM

By Daniel Bases

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thabo Sefolosha, a forward for the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, was acquitted on Friday of all charges related to an April confrontation with New York City police outside a nightclub that left him with a broken leg.

Sefolosha, a 31 year old Swiss citizen who missed the rest of the 2014-15 season, was found not guilty by a six person jury on the charges of obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.

The April 8 incident took place at 4 a.m. outside the 1 OAK nightclub in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood where Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland and his former fiance were stabbed.

Sefolosha and Pero Antic, another member of the Hawks, were taken into custody at the time of the incident for interfering with the arrest and trying to prevent police from setting up a crime scene.

The case against Antic was dismissed while Sefolosha chose to go to trial. Both had been ordered by police to leave the area outside the club after the stabbing occurred.

Public documents showed Antic was attempting to calm an escalating situation between a police officer and Sefolosha, when he grabbed the officer's shoulder but did not cause any injury.

The Hawks open their regular season schedule on Oct. 27 against the Detroit Pistons and it was uncertain if Sefolosha, a 10-year veteran of the National Basketball Association, would be healthy enough to play.

The game is on the same day that the 22-year-old defendant in the stabbing case, Shezoy Bleary, is due back in court where he faces assault and weapons charges.

(Additional reporting by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by Christian Plumb)