|Philadelphia police want to charge Allen Iverson - 76ers superstar, corporate pitchman, and cultural icon to the hip-hop generation - with aggravated assault, a felony, and making terroristic threats while armed. That and this report from The Philadelphia Inquirer's Leonard N. Fleming, Thomas J. Gibbons Jr., and Robert Moran
Police Commissioner Sylvester M. Johnson said that investigators would recommend to District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham that an arrest warrant be issued. The recommended charges stem from a confrontation at the West Philadelphia apartment of Iverson's cousin early last Wednesday when he went in search of his wife, Tawanna.
"The affidavit is going to spell out everything the Police Department knows," Johnson said without going into detail.
Iverson, 27, a Virginia native, could face eight felony and misdemeanor charges: aggravated and simple assault, reckless endangering of other people, conspiracy, possession of an instrument of crime, weapons violations, burglary, and criminal trespass, police said. Iverson does not have a permit to carry a gun.
"The totality of the circumstances makes you believe this incident occurred," Police Lt. Michael Chitwood said.
The affidavit will be delivered to Abraham today. If her office approves it, prosecutors will go to a judge for a warrant. They would then ask Iverson, through his attorney, to turn himself in, Johnson said.
The District Attorney's Office could reject the affidavit or ask police to investigate further, Johnson said. "It's their call," he said.
Cathie Abookire, a spokeswoman for the district attorney, said last night that it was too early to tell how her office would handle the matter.
"We haven't seen any paperwork, so I don't have any speculative answers" about where Iverson would be booked, whether he would have to post bail, or what kind of sentence he would face if convicted, Abookire said.
Iverson has survived epic problems with his coach, his fans, the media, and his jump shot. Now, the Sixers superstar faces this latest maelstrom - one that could land him in jail. That and this report from The Philadelphia Inquirer's Leonard N. Fleming, Thomas J. Gibbons Jr., and Robert Moran
Sixers management issued a statement expressing deep concern about the allegations.
"While we do not condone such conduct if true, it is important to remember that our system of justice presumes Allen to be innocent until proven otherwise," the statement read. "We will continue to support Allen while we await the outcome of these proceedings."
The investigators' decision came not long after detectives questioned Charles Jones, a West Philadelphia man who lives with Iverson's cousin at the one-bedroom apartment where Iverson came looking for his wife. Jones restated his story to police that an angry Iverson, armed with a handgun, and another man showed up and demanded to see Tawanna Iverson.
Iverson and his wife of 11 months apparently had had a disagreement earlier in the evening at their home in Gladwyne, and his wife had sought his cousin, Shaun T. Bowman, as a confidant, according to a source close to Iverson. Police said yesterday that they wanted to talk to Tawanna Iverson but that she had not responded to their numerous calls.
At the apartment near 62d and Chestnut Streets, Iverson found Charles Jones, 21, and a 17-year-old, according to Jones' complaint.
In an Interview yesterday outside that Cobbs Creek Court Apartment, Jones said he was frightened when the star player muscled his way into the apartment while he slept.
Jones said he was in a deep sleep when Iverson and an older, stocky man passed through the locked front doors and knocked on Apartment 309R.
Another male named Hakeem - apparently the 17-year-old - opened the door, at which point Iverson "forced his way in," Jones said.
Jones said Iverson had a Black gun but never held it in his hand. Jones would not say where the gun was, but police sources said it was in Iverson's waistband.
Iverson and his wife were reported to be at home yesterday. Neither has spoken publicly since the allegation surfaced last weekend.
Two detectives questioned Jones at his apartment for about 30 minutes yesterday before escorting him to Southwest Detectives for nearly two more hours of questioning.
Jones would not say what was asked, but he said later that police were not pressuring him to drop the complaint.
"I'm not getting any pressure from anybody," Jones said. "Everything that I'm doing I'm doing on my own mind and on my own will."
To his knowledge, Jones said, neither Iverson nor his wife had ever been to the one-bedroom apartment he shares with Bowman. Bowman and Tawanna Iverson were not at the apartment when Iverson showed up looking for her, Jones said.
At the apartment yesterday, Bowman declined to answer questions. Jones, who said he was a Sixers fan and liked Iverson as a player, would not say whether he would press charges against the superstar.
"I'm not going to say what actions I want to take. All I'm going to say is what's wrong is wrong, and what's right is right," he said.
Lawrence H. Woodward Jr., Iverson's longtime Virginia Beach, Va., attorney, met with Johnson and other police officials on Monday to discuss the case.
Woodward did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.
Johnson yesterday vowed a "complete, thorough investigation."
Addressing questions about whether the police were giving the Iverson case special attention, Johnson said: "We are, and so is the News media. If this was John Doe, it wouldn't be getting the attention." That and this report from The Philadelphia Inquirer's Leonard N. Fleming, Thomas J. Gibbons Jr., and Robert Moran