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Sixers' Iverson to be charged with assault in gun case

Posted: Friday, July 12, 2002

PHILADELPHIA -- Allen Iverson will be charged with assault and other offenses for forcing his way into an apartment with a gun and threatening two men while looking for his wife, authorities said Thursday.

The NBA All-Star, no stranger to trouble on and off the court, will be allowed to surrender to police Tuesday morning after his lawyer returns from vacation, police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said. Iverson must remain inside his suburban Philadelphia mansion until then.

''If Iverson is seen on the street or out partying, we will arrest him,'' Johnson said.

Iverson and an uncle are accused of barging into a cousin's apartment on the morning of July 3 as the Philadelphia 76ers' guard searched for his wife, Tawanna. Iverson allegedly had thrown her out of their house naked during a dispute, according to tapes of a 911 call obtained by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Police searched Iverson's mansion and his uncle's home Thursday, looking for the gun and other evidence.

Iverson will be charged with criminal trespass, simple assault, terroristic threats and gun offenses, District Attorney Lynne Abraham said. Four of the counts are felonies, and Iverson faces up to 54 years in prison if convicted of all the charges.

Iverson's uncle, Gregory Iverson, was also charged with criminal trespass, simple assault, terroristic threats and other offenses.

''We had two complaints we felt were credible. Detectives did a very thorough, complete and professional investigation,'' Johnson said.

Sixers coach Larry Brown and general manager Billy King said they will support Iverson through the legal process.

Brown, who spoke to Iverson on Thursday, said his star player is ''hurting.''

''I'm hopeful this thing gets resolved and this kid can move on with his life,'' Brown said. ''He's part of our family and will always be a part of our family.''

Iverson didn't find his wife and cousin Shaun Bowman when he went with his uncle to the Cobbs Creek Court apartment complex, authorities said.

Bowman's roommate, Charles Jones, told police the men forced their way into the apartment and demanded to know the whereabouts of Tawanna and Bowman, according to a police affidavit. A friend of Jones also was in the apartment.

Iverson, a three-time All-Star and former league MVP, ''continuously threatened harm to the complainants and wanted Charles to make numerous phone calls to locate Tawanna and Shaun,'' court documents said.

Iverson also ''showed the complainants a black handgun'' that had been tucked into his waistband, according to the documents. Iverson has no gun permit nor does he have a gun registered in Pennsylvania, police said.

Iverson and his uncle eventually left the apartment and drove to a motel where Tawanna had rented two rooms, police said. After hotel officials failed to reach her, Iverson and his uncle began circling the parking lot looking for her white SUV.

Police confronted the men and Iverson said he was looking for his wife, court documents said.

Iverson and his wife have not commented publicly. The two married in August, two months after Iverson led the Sixers to the NBA Finals for the first time in 18 years.

Iverson's dazzling play has made him one of the most popular NBA players, and his Sixers jersey is the league's top seller. But he's also been in trouble with his team and the NBA, squabbling with his coach and making a rap CD in 2000 that used terms for women and gays that drew harsh criticism.

The charges in the gun case are just his latest problems with the law.

As a teenager, he was arrested in a Hampton, Va., bowling alley brawl in 1993 and spent four months in prison before then-Gov. Douglas Wilder granted clemency. The conviction was overturned on appeal in 1995.

In 1997, Iverson pleaded no contest to a gun charge after police near Richmond, Va., stopped a car in which he was a passenger and found a gun belonging to Iverson and two marijuana cigarettes. A marijuana-possession charge was dropped.

Iverson completed 100 hours of community service, two years of drug testing and three years' probation, after which his record was expunged.



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