The black pro basketball player and Switzerland native who sat out the NBA playoffs after reportedly sufering a broken leg while being arrested by NYPD officers has rejected prosecutors’ offer to dismiss charges against him in exchange for a day of community service, the New York Times reports. He is now scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 5.
Thabo Sefolosha, 31, was arrested early on April 8 and charged with resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, and disorderly conduct after a Manhattan incident in which a different player was stabbed outside a nightclub; Sefolosha was not involved in the stabbing incident, but officers say he refused orders to move away from the crime scene. In a statement Sefolosha issued shortly thereafter he said he had suffered a “significant injury” which was “caused by the police,” and his lawyer now says Sefolosha has rejected the deal (which would also have been contingent on him avoiding further legal “trouble” for six months) because he is “innocent and wants to be vindicated.” (Sefolosha was offered what is technically called “an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal,” ESPN says.)
Sefolosha’s court appearance coincidentally came on the same day that former tennis star James Blake, who is black, said he was tackled by a white NYPD officer outside a high-end Manhattan hotel after apparently being mistake for a criminal suspect.
Disorderly-conduct charges against Sefolosha’s Atlanta Hawks teammate Pero Antic have been dismissed, the Times says.