Shaquille O'Neal's 'Tackle Punch' of TNT Cameraman Investigated

Tuesday, 25 Mar 2014 01:34 PM

By Nick Sanchez

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Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal stands accused of assault on the cameraman of his TNT show "Inside the NBA" in an open investigation by Atlanta police.

The alleged incident occurred at Turner Studios on May 9 of last year when camera operator Rob Williams, 44, said he was attacked by the 7-foot-plus O'Neal just after midnight, TMZ reports.

"While at work at Turner Studios on May 9th 2013, about 12:30 a.m., as I was performing my duties at work, Shaquille O'Neal ran out of a room and hit me with a tackle punch to the back knocking me down and falling on top of me injuring my neck and back," Williams stated in the police report.

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Williams immediately reported the incident to Turner Security and was placed under medical care. The 42-year-old O’Neal, who retired in 2011, has not been arrested at this point in the investigation.

Sgt. Greg Lyon of the Atlanta Police Department said he didn't know the extent of Williams' injury, but that he "heard" they were "severe to his back."

"The investigation was initially handled by the zone and as that investigation deepened, it was transferred to the complex case squad," he said. "At the conclusion of their investigation, we’ll have their findings and we’ll go forth from there, whether charges will be filed, whether it be reviewed by the DA’s Office."

Dennis Roach, O'Neal's lawyer, sent a statement to Atlanta's WSB-TV that claimed the incident "was nothing more than horseplay. No one intended for anyone to get injured."

William's attorney responded to the horseplay comment, saying Williams had just undergone surgery, and that "the permanent injuries he received were not the result of participation in any form of 'horseplay.'"

In addition to winning four titles and being selected for 15 All-Star games, "Shaq" is also a platinum-selling rapper and movie actor.

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