WORCESTER- Who is #22?
That’s what the Elmira, NY Police Department is trying to figure out as they search for a suspect involved in a brawl between Worcester’s American Basketball Association [ABA] team, the 78’s, and the Elmira Eagles.
According to the Elmira PD, on Dec. 16, 2017, officers were called to the Elmira YMCA “to investigate an assault that was perpetudated by the owner and players of the Elmira Eagles basketball team against [the Worcester 78’s]. The victims suffered concussions, a broken jaw and substantial financial loss as a result.”
SEE VIDEO BELOW: Brawl Breaks Out at Worcester 78’s Game
The 78’s players — namely, guards Lee Vasquez, who suffered a broken jaw, and Kamahl Walker, who suffered a concussion — declined to comment for this story, as the investigation is ongoing.
During the course of Elmira PD’s investigation, Eagles management, coach and players purposely mislead the police into believing that the suspect [described by the Worcester 78’s players as wearing #22] was former Eagles player and Rochester resident, Chad Dillard.
However, Elmira PD has since learned that the Dillard had already quit the team earlier in the season and a different player wore #22 during the game in question. The police department has yet to identify who wore the #22 jersey and the Eagles organization has refused to cooperate with the investigation.
In the above photo, the Elmira PD are trying to identify #22.
The video below shows that the 78’s are down one point when forward Sam Longwell is fouled during a shot at the buzzer. The referees decided to put .4 seconds back on the clock, and that’s when Alston approaches the 78’s bench and mayhem ensues.
According to 78’s owner Tom Marino, Alston has not replied to multiple requests for information on the suspect — including the suspect’s name and an image of the game’s roster sheet.
“Once the decision is made to put time on the clock and let free throws be shot for us to finish this game, I have nothing to say,” Marino said.
In an email to ThisWeekinWorcester.com, ABA co-founder and CEO Joseph Newman said, “The first thing we did was to gather all of the facts…as much video as we could, officials’ reports, witness reports. Under normal circumstances, incidents like this result in suspensions of parties directly involved. When it became a police matter, however, we did take a step back, until all of the information was gathered by them. That information has been gathered.”
Newman said Tom Chichester, ABA Director of Officials, will make the final determination as to the ABA’s course of action.
“We take the matter very seriously and hopefully, we’ll make the proper decision,” Newman said.