Comes now news that Terrence Jones, member of two Kentucky Final Four teams, one national championship team, and current member of the Houston Rockets, was arrested last night in his home town of Portland, Oregon for "stomping on a homeless man." The official charge is harassment. From the KPTV (Portland) report:
While watching the group walk away from the bar, the sergeant saw Jones walk by a doorway where two homeless men were sleeping, police said.
Officers said Jones yelled, 'Wake up,' and then raised his leg and stomped down on the leg of one of the sleeping men.
Police contacted Jones about a half-block away and arrested him out of the group of about eight people.
The police apparently didn't know who he was until after they arrested him, which makes it unlikely that one of the policemen may have had some kind of a grudge against Jones. Fortunately, the stompee wasn't badly hurt since he didn't need medical attention, but he was reported to have "a minor leg injury" (read: bruise).
I would have thought a simple assault would have been the appropriate charge, so I'm a little perplexed at the harassment charge. Assault is more serious, (Class A misdemeanor at the lowest level) and kicking or "stomping" is surely an assault more than a harassment.
No matter what, this is a very unfortunate incident, and speaking for myself, I'm ashamed of Terrence for engaging in such behavior. He's had the benefit of all kinds of education and exposure to the proper way to behave. Based only on the reporting we have seen so far, he let us all down, and himself and the Rockets as well. I reserve the right to revise that position if subsequent facts cast a mitigating light on the matter.
With that said, nobody has been seriously hurt and the police have appropriately dealt with him. Harassment carries a maximum of six months in jail and a $2500 fine in Portland. It wouldn't surprise me if the judge didn't throw the book at him based on his current state of privilege and the fact that he picked on a homeless guy. Even if the guy said something offensive, surely Terrence knows the proper thing to do is walk away. But I rather doubt he will do jail time if he is appropriately contrite, although a stiff fine and some community service would seem to be in order.
If guilty as charged, I hope he learns a lesson from this, because he needs one, apparently. It may well cost him more dearly if the Rockets decide that he's not the kind of person they want in their organization. I hope it doesn't come to that, but these kinds of actions have consequences.
Hat tip: Kyle Tucker
Terrence Jones pled not guilty to charge in Portland. Atty Kevin O'Connell said Jones did not "stomp" on man. "This will go away I'm sure."— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 31, 2013
The judge is not going to take Jones' word over that of an officer who saw the act. That is, unless the officer didn't really see Jones do it, or inaccurately identified him. I'm not buying defense attorney's statement that he didn't do it as fact; not yet, anyway.