Oracle Arena

Images show Masai Ujiri-deputy altercation, Canadian newspaper reports

Images show Masai Ujiri-deputy altercation, Canadian newspaper reports

The aftermath of the Raptors' NBA Finals win over the Warriors was marred in controversy. 

After Toronto defeated the Golden State in Game 6 at Oracle Arena on June 13, Raptors president Masai Ujiri allegedly struck and pushed a sheriff's deputy while trying to access the floor after the Raptors' title-winning victory.

A witness has claimed that Ujiri didn't strike the deputy, but the Alameda County Sheriff's Office showed The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper, still images that show there indeed was an altercation between Ujiri and the deputy. The Alameda County Sheriff's Office wouldn't allow The Globe and Mail to publish the photos or view full videos.

'[We wanted] to show that a crime did occur when people are saying that ... there was no strike to the face, when in fact there was," spokesperson Sgt. Ray Kelly said. "We've done it in a way that can still let the investigation take place without contaminating the witness pool."

According to The Globe and Mail, one of the photos shows Ujiri with arms raised and outstretched, his hands clenched, appearing to strike the deputy.

The Raptors declined to comment on the images.

The Sheriff's Office claims that Ujiri told the deputy he was the president of the Raptors and flashed an NBA credential backward, but did not have the yellow armband or purple badge required to access the court. Officials allege that Ujiri pushed and struck the deputy in the face after he refused to let the executive on the court.

Body camera footage showed to The Globe and Mail reportedly shows Ujiri with no credentials in his hand or around his neck.

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The officer has not yet been identified but claims to have a concussion. He is debating whether or not to sue Ujiri and the Raptors.

The Oakland Police Department is investigating the incident and is expected to file its report to the District Attorney soon. Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern has recommended that Ujiri be charged with a misdemeanor battery of an officer which can carry a penalty of 364 days in jail.

Sheriffs admit Raptors exec Masai Ujiri showed ID before Oracle Arena incident

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AP

Sheriffs admit Raptors exec Masai Ujiri showed ID before Oracle Arena incident

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office admitted that Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri showed his NBA identification before an alleged altercation with a sheriff's deputy last week at Oracle Arena.

The sheriff's office told The Globe and Mail on Wednesday that Ujiri informed the deputy he was the Raptors' president and then presented the ID, but he did not have the necessary credentials to get onto the court after his team beat the Warriors to clinch its first championship in Game 6 of the NBA Finals last Thursday.

Officials allege that Ujiri pushed and struck the deputy in the face after he refused to let the executive on the court, and an attorney hired to represent the deputy told multiple outlets earlier this week that his client has a concussion and a "serious jaw injury."

Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office, told The Globe that security footage from Oracle Arena showed Ujiri hitting the deputy with "two fists" and that one struck the officer "underneath the jaw on the left side of his face." Three eyewitnesses, whom The Globe said "were sitting within 10 feet of the altercation," disputed that account.

"From what I saw it was just shoving," Lucas Abrenica, 20, said. "There were no punches thrown or anything like that."

Ben Baller, 46, told The Globe that Ujiri identified himself with a credential, which Kelly said was not the right one to get the executive on the court. Baller told the paper that "others in the area started shouting" Ujiri's position, but the deputy pushed him and "shook his head 'no.' "

Greg Wiener, 61, said Ujiri "brushed" away the deputy's arm after he blocked his path to the court, "then the deputy got a little bit more aggressive," pushing Ujiri first.  

“That’s when Mr. Ujiri pushed the deputy hard,” Wiener said.

Kelly told The Globe that the deputy pushed Ujiri first, but the executive pushed with greater force. Two of the witnesses who spoke to The Globe said the deputy appeared to be "uninjured," but Kelly claimed the officer was diagnosed with a concussion after going to a hospital later that night.

KPIX-TV reported Monday that Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern "personally reviewed" the deputy's bodycam footage, as well as that of Oracle's security cameras. He told the outlet that he will recommend the district attorney charge Ujiri with misdemeanor battery of an officer. 

The Raptors did not comment on The Globe's story but said in a statement to NBC Sports Washington last week that the encounter "is being looked at, and we are cooperating with authorities. We look forward to resolving the situation."

Attorney says deputy in alleged Masai Ujiri altercation has concussion

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USATSI

Attorney says deputy in alleged Masai Ujiri altercation has concussion

The deputy who the Alameda County Sheriff's Office said Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri struck in the face is on medical leave after suffering a concussion, attorney David Mastagni told The Associated Press on Tuesday. 

Mastagni told KPIX on Monday that the deputy, whose name has not been released, also has "a serious jaw injury" as a result of the alleged altercation.

“The officer is off work, disabled and wants to go back to work,” Mastagni told the AP.

KPIX reported Monday that Mastagni is representing the officer. 

Officials say that Ujiri pushed and struck the deputy in the face during the waning moments of Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday. With Ujiri's Raptors set to celebrate their first championship, the deputy prevented Ujiri from reaching the court because he didn't display the proper credentials, Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office told NBC Sports Washington on Friday morning.

KPIX reported Monday that Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern "personally reviewed" footage from Oracle Arena's security cameras and the deputy's body camera, and he said he will recommend the district attorney charge Ujiri with misdemeanor battery of a police officer. Mastagni told multiple outlets that the deputy is considering filing a lawsuit against Ujiri. 

The Raptors said in a statement to NBC Sports Washington last week that the encounter "is being looked at, and we are cooperating with authorities. We look forward to resolving the situation." Warriors season-ticket holder Greg Wiener said he saw the incident, and he told the AP on Friday that Ujiri shoved, but did not strike the deputy after he "put his hand on Ujiri's chest and pushed him."

Wiener initially told the AP that the deputy did not mention that Ujiri lacked proper credentials, but recounted Tuesday “after thinking about it all weekend" that the officer shouted, "No one gets on the court without credentials.”

The 48-year-old Ujiri has run the Raptors' front office since 2013. The Washington Wizards are preparing to offer Ujiri their top job, and NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig reported the offer could include an ownership stake in the team and be worth up to $10 million per year.