Ex-Hawks C Pero Antic sues NYPD: 'They will now be held responsible'

ByKevin Arnovitz ESPN logo
Sunday, April 3, 2016

Former Atlanta Hawks center Pero Antic on Friday filed a civil suit against the New York Police Department, and Hawks forward Thabo Sefoloshaconfirmed Sunday that he will file suit this week.

False arrest, unlawful imprisonment, assault, battery, negligence, civil rights violations and malicious prosecution were listed as the claims in Antic's complaint. Under Antic's notice of claim, filed last year, $25 million was set as the maximum Antic can recover.

"The NYPD has all but conceded that they falsely and improperly arrested Pero Antic," Alex Spiro, Antic's attorney, said. "They will now be held responsible."

Sefolosha's suit, which will name the NYPD and other city agencies, will likely include charges of unlawful force, unlawful arrest and malicious prosecution. Sefolosha's notice of claim, also filed last year, set $50 million as the ceiling he can be compensated for damages.

The suits stem from an incident on April 8, 2015, outside Manhattan nightclub 1Oak, where both men were arrested. Officers claimed the pair were interfering with a crime scene.Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland was stabbed in a separate incident.

Sefolosha suffered a broken fibula and ligament damage during his arrest and missed the remainder of the regular season and the Hawks' playoff run to the conference finals.

In October, a jury acquitted Sefolosha of misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Despite being offered a plea deal that would've dismissed the charges in exchange for a day of community service, Sefolosha opted for a trial to clear his name.

Sefolosha told ESPN in October that he filed the notice of claim to preserve his right to sue. He said then that he was uncertain he wanted to "go back into the legal system."

Antic was initially charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration and second-degree harassment. Officials dropped the charges against him in September.

Sefolosha has logged 70 games with Atlanta this season and has averaged 6.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game, with a true shooting percentage of 58.6. He ranks second among NBA small forwards in defensive plus-minus.

A native of Macedonia, Antic played two seasons with the Hawks before returning overseas to join Fenerbahe in the Turkish Basketball League.