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Report: Shaquille O’Neal under police investigation for incident at TNT studios

Mar 24, 2014, 10:28 PM EDT

Shaquille O'Neal AP

Shaquille O’Neal has been a very public friend to law enforcement at every stop on his NBA career, but now the TNT analyst is finding himself on the wrong end of police attention.

Shaq is being investigated for a possible assault as part of an incident from March 19 at the TNT studios in Atlanta, reports WSB-TV in Atlanta after obtaining the police report.

Through his attorney Shaq has denied any wrongdoing.

Let’s get the disclaimer out there first — being investigated is very different from being charged with a crime. Someone has filed a complaint against O’Neal but the truth of what really happened is far from clear, that’s what police are trying to sort out. Here is the key parts from the WSB-TV report:

Channel 2’s Ryan Young obtained a police report detailing the incident, but so far, O’Neal has not been charged with anything…

“(The co-worker) alleged Shaquille O’Neal tackled him to the ground causing injury to his back while they were at work at Turner Studios,” said Sgt. Greg Lyon with the Atlanta Police Department….

No one ever called police that night. O’Neal has not been charged. But the police department is still doing an investigation….

O’Neal’s attorney, Dennis Roach, sent a statement about the incident saying, “This was nothing more than horseplay. No one intended for anyone to get injured.”

The victim’s attorney said that surgery was required for the injuries sustained. The intent of O’Neal in any incident very well may not matter.

At this point in any investigation it is wise to take everybody’s account with a grain of salt. Or a handful. And to question what everyone’s motivation may be.

It will be interesting to see how TNT handles this. Because the alleged incident took place on their property you can bet that the company’s lawyers will be all over this as well.

  1. fatcamper - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    This should be settled on the court rather than in court. The plaintiff’s attorney should motion for a free throw competition to resolve any damages…..and walk away a very rich man.

  2. genericcommenter - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    Actually, being a “friend to law enforcement” has meant he has been on the wrong side of the law on several occasions, though I think most of the blame lies with those who put him in some farcical situations in order to involve a celebrity. Taking an armed Shaq on wrong-house raids and Steven Seagal to bust up cockfights has made a joke of the profession.

  3. thenew013 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    Shaq needs to sit his big a** down before he hurts someone…too late

  4. al6469 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    Here’s a question “when did it happen and when did he have surgery..

  5. averagelifer - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    See if I have this right.

    Some goofing around ensued, Shaq rough housed this other employee and Shaqs 300+lbs caused some injury.

    So instead of just letting the corporate insurance cover all losses and letting it be over, the injured employee is also looking to get paid from Shaq.

    Yeah, that pretty much sums up society now.

  6. multitalented369 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Dude should have ” Hip Tossed ” Shaquill O’Neil to his back.

  7. azarkhan - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    O’Neal sux. I hope TNT fires him.

  8. ml98 - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Who is doing the investigation, Chief Wiggum? it doesn’t take 6 days to figure out whether this was horse play or deliberate.

  9. zxlaa - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    Why would anyone want to horseplay around with a guy that size? DUUUUUHHHHHH….

  10. alongthegulf - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    A television employee is decently paid and has benefits, but nothing compared to the salary of an NBA star. I think this unnamed TNT employee is looking to retire at Shaq’s expense.

  11. chicagosports2014 - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:41 AM


    • jimeejohnson - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:35 PM


  12. mannyicey - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Shaq didn’t intentionally hurt the guy. This investigation is lawsuit prep. I mean, this happened last year and they are investigating it NOW? Really?

    Shaq will probably pay the guy’s doctor bill and call it a day.

  13. toasted54 - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    They horseplay a lot at halftime. Kenny usually gets the brunt of it.

  14. AZ Dem - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    This is not as simple as you may think. If this guy wasn’t engaged in the performance of his job, he doesn’t have much of a law-suit. Ordinarily, workman’s comp insurance would cover the cost of his injuries. But if TNT can show that he was not actively engaged in his duties and if his own negligence even partially caused the accident, it’s going to be hard to get full payment. In regards to third-party liability (that’s Shaq, here), I’m not sure about the law in Georgia, but I can guess that it’s one of the states where one must prove that the other person is 100% at blame. Which is very difficult to do.

    • markb2301 - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      I don’t think there’s any state where the plaintiff has to prove the defendant is 100% to blame in a tort action. In Georgia, a plaintiff needs to prove that the other party was 51% or more responsible for the injuries sustained. I have no idea what the facts of the case are, but he may very well have a personal injury lawsuit.

    • balfe13 - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:51 PM

      Except he could still she Shaq for an assault and battery, independent of any workmanship compensation claim. And most states have a comparative negligence rule that allows for compensation even if someone contributed to their own injury in some small way.

  15. intelectable - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    You’re wrong about the law AZ. At this point it’s a criminal matter rather than a civil matter. As such, whether anyone was engaged in the performace of his job is irrelevant as this is a criminal complaint against O’Neal, not a civil complaint against TNT. For simple misdemeanor battery in Georgia, all that’s necessary is that O’Neal intentionally engaged in offensive physical contact. There need be no need to intentionally inflicted harm.

    As for civil law, which I believe is the direction this is going to, Georgia has the “50% bar rule”, whereby the victim is precluded from recovery for damages only if he was more than 50% at fault. As for suing TNT, that would only be available if O’Neal was tackling the guy within the “course and scope” of his employment. “Course and scope” has been broadly defined by Georgia courts. If O’Neal was at work on TNT premises when he did this, then that might be enough. Because there’s a presumption that an employee is engaged in the employer’s business and acting within the scope of his employment, it would be the burden of TNT to prove that O’Neal was not in fact engaged in the business of the employer at the time of the act.

  16. dogblesstimothymcveigh - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    “Let’s get the disclaimer out there first — being investigated is very different from being charged with a crime.”
    Are we talking about OJ Simpson?
    “At this point in any investigation it is wise to take everybody’s account with a grain of salt. Or a handful. And to question what everyone’s motivation may be.”
    Or about George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin?

  17. straightouttavtown - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    “Horseplay”? Wasn’t that Jerry Sandusky’s defense?

  18. musketmaniac - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    well at least segal isn’t the investigating officer

  19. em11965 - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:07 AM

    Looks like a money grab attempt. This guy cannot supply many details of this alleged incident. Shaq has been instructed by his lawyer not to say anything that can be twisted out of shape.

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