The deputy involved in an altercation with Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri following Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena is on leave and has received dozens of death threats, an attorney representing the law enforcement officer said.
Attorney David Mastagni said the Alameda County Sheriff's Office deputy was punched so hard in the jaw, he suffered a concussion and has not been able to return to work.
"He's off work, disabled, wants to get well and go back to work," Mastagni said of the deputy.
Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said the deputy did not know who Ujiri was and was simply doing his job when the Raptors executive tried to get on the court without the correct credentials after the team clinched the NBA title.
The deputy has said Ujiri shoved and hit him. Kelly told NBC Bay Area Ujiri hit the deputy in the face with both fists in a shoving motion.
#BREAKING: Sheriff deputy reportedly pushed and struck in the face by a man believed to be a Toronto Raptors executive after Game 6 of the #NBAFinals at Oracle Arena, @ACSOSheriffs says. https://t.co/fobdK9iWEq pic.twitter.com/a4X0IysY5Z— Kristofer Noceda (@krisnoceda) June 14, 2019
"Oracle security cam and police body cam clearly shows our deputy was hit in the face," Kelly said. "(Ujiri) tried to force his way past our deputies, and the deputy did his job exactly the way he's supposed to, to protect the court, especially at a high-profile event of national security significance.
"Mr. Ujiri came back and in a very aggressive manner confronted our deputy, and at that point, using both his fists in a shoving motion, struck our deputy in the jaw," Kelly said.
Kelly in response told NBC Bay Area investigators found HD video that shows Ujiri shoving and punching the deputy.
"The video is very descriptive and it does depict Mr. Ujiri striking our deputy in the face," Kelly said.
Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern has seen the video and wants Ujiri to face assault charges, according to Kelly.
"This is a case where the wealthy, the powerful and the privileged are exercising power over common ordinary working people," Mastagni said.
The deputy's body camera switched off when Ujiri allegedly made contact with the deputy, according to the sheriff's office, which is expected to file a report of the incident soon.
The Alameda County District Attorney's Office ultimately will decide whether or not to charge Ujiri with a crime.
The Raptors released the following statement last week: “The incident is being looked at, and we are cooperating with authorities. We look forward to resolving the situation.”