NBA BRAWL Pacers players, Pistons fans get separate court hearings
ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Five Indiana Pacers players and three fans charged in one of the most violent melees in NBA history appeared in court Tuesday -- each at a separate hearing -- and were released on bond.
The Pacers players, charged with misdemeanor assault and battery in the brawl with Detroit fans at The Palace of Auburn Hills, appeared for about three minutes each before District Judge Lisa Asadoorian.
Asadoorian allowed each of the players to leave the state and barred them from the Palace "except for employment-related purposes." Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Anthony Johnson, David Harrison and Jermaine O'Neal also were told they must attend the next hearing in the case, scheduled for April.
Three fans charged with misdemeanor assault and battery -- John Ackerman, William Paulson and John Green -- also appeared in court and were released on bond.
David Wallace, brother of Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace, who also has been charged, was not in court Tuesday, but his attorney appeared on his behalf, said Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton.
Bryant Jackson, a spectator at the Nov. 19 game, is charged with felonious assault for allegedly tossing a chair. He was ordered to stand trial following a preliminary examination that also took place Tuesday in Asadoorian's courtroom.
Jackson's attorney, Kenneth Karasick, argued that no witnesses who were at the Palace the night of the brawl could positively identify Jackson as the chair thrower. But Asadoorian ruled that videotape and witness testimony were sufficient.
The fight among spectators and players broke out near the end of the game after an on-court dispute over a foul.