Monday, July 3, 2000

Stevenson remains under investigation


— DeShawn Stevenson, the Utah Jazz's first-round draft pick, was under investigation Sunday for his part in a brawl at a high school gym, police said.

Two combatants were cited, with one telling police Stevenson started the fight.

Greg Bass, director of police services for the Clovis (Calif.) Unified School District, told The Fresno Bee that Stevenson hasn't been cleared.

"He can run, but he can't hide," Bass said Friday. "We want to get all those involved."

Bass said Stevenson, 19, hasn't spoken to police in connection with the melee during an all-star game at Buchanan High shortly after the Jazz made him the 23rd pick in Wednesday's draft.

Stevenson, who originally signed a letter of intent to play college basketball at Kansas, couldn't be reached for comment Sunday.

Chris Sims, an 18-year-old Fresno State football recruit, was cited for three misdemeanors: fighting, obstructing a police officer and possession of a knife on school grounds.

If convicted, he could face up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Calvin Howell Jr., 20, was cited for fighting and use of offensive words, both misdemeanors punishable by as much as 90 days in jail and a $400 fine.

Both were taken to the Clovis city jail after the melee, cited and released. Their cases were forwarded to prosecutors, who will decide whether to press charges.

A court date of Aug. 21 was set.

Stevenson flew to Salt Lake City Thursday, and said he had been attacked by a group of people including Sims. Stevenson said his attackers were "jealous" of attention he had received as Utah's top pick.

However, according to a police report, Sims said he was approached by Stevenson and two unidentified assailants. Sims said one man struck him from behind in the head, and another struck him in the mouth.

Sims claimed Stevenson struck him in the forehead before he fought back. Then, Sims said, police arrived and found him fighting with Stevenson.

Officers separated the two, and Stevenson ran up the bleachers. Sims followed, tackled Stevenson and the fight continued until officers separated them again.

Witnesses said as many as 20 people were involved in the brawl.

Stevenson left after being escorted to the parking lot by Fresno City College basketball coach Denny Aye, witnesses said. Aye has refused comment.

After Stevenson left, Sims was detained by police, still "very agitated/upset," the report said. At one point, he broke away from officers and ran outside the gym.

Police eventually caught him and took him into custody. During a search at the police station, a razor knife was found in Sims' possession.

Police said Sims was wearing a bloody T-shirt. He was cut on the lip and had abrasions on his forehead and forearm.

Jazz officials have said they believe Stevenson was the victim in the fight and have promised to stand by his story.

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