Combs in­ci­dent varies in ac­counts

The rap mogul claims self- de­fense in the ac­tions at UCLA that led to his ar­rest.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Nathan Fenno and Richard Win­ton

When Sean “Diddy” Combs at­tended UCLA football prac­tices to watch his son Justin, the rap mogul seemed to op­er­ate in a world of his own.

While other par­ents parked in a des­ig­nated lot, Combs and his en­tourage — of­ten ac­com­pa­nied by body­guards — pulled their black lux­ury au­to­mo­biles onto the side­walk be­tween Spauld­ing Field and Pauley Pav­il­ion. Fam­i­lies and media watched prac­tice from a roped- off area. Mean­while, Combs strolled the side­lines, part sup­port­ive fa­ther, part celebrity guest.

But un­der the early af­ter­noon sun at Spauld­ing Field on Mon­day, Justin Combs was just another player strug­gling to f in­ish his sprints on the first day of vol­un­tary sum­mer work­outs.

The dif­fi­culty drew the ire of strength and con­di­tion­ing coach Sal Alosi.

The coach pointed out the lit­tle- used ju­nior de­fen­sive back’s trou­bles loud enough for oth­ers to hear.

What fol­lowed is the sub­ject of bit­ter dis­pute. The af­ter­math is about all that is clear: UCLA Po­lice ar­rested Sean Combs on sus­pi­cion of three counts of as­sault with a deadly weapon, mak­ing crim­i­nal threats and bat­tery af­ter swing­ing a weight.

Two peo­ple knowl­edge­able about what oc­curred but not au­tho­rized to speak about it pub­licly de­scribed Alosi as “be­rat­ing ” and “de­mean­ing” the son. Alosi also men­tioned Justin Combs’ fa­ther, the sources said. That’s sen­si­tive ter­ri­tory for Combs, who has com­plained that peo­ple dis­miss his football abil­ity be­cause of his fa­ther’s fame.

In re­sponse to the ver­bal bar­rage, one of the sources said, Justin Combs shook his head. That didn’t go over well with Alosi. He told the player to get off the field, not just for the rest of the day but the rest of the sum­mer.

Such hyped- up lan­guage

is com­mon­place at the start of off- sea­son work­outs as coaches look for op­por­tu­ni­ties to demon­strate who is in charge. Usu­ally, the dif­fer­ences are quickly worked out and nor­mal life re­sumes. That didn’t hap­pen.

Later that af­ter­noon, the son came along as his fa­ther con­fronted Alosi in his of­fice next to the 15,000- square foot weight room in the Acosta Ath­letic Com­plex’s base­ment.

Alosi was on the phone and mo­tioned for the visi­tors to wait.

That’s where the ver­sions of what oc­curred sharply di­verge.

This much is cer­tain: The phone call ended and the ex­change quickly grew heated and pro­fane.

That is in keep­ing with Alosi’s rep­u­ta­tion for in­ten­sity. It’s led to pre­vi­ous trou­ble. Alosi’s nine- year ca­reer as a strength and con­di­tion­ing coach in the NFL ended af­ter a 2010 in­ci­dent on the side­line for the New York Jets when he tripped an op­pos­ing player as he ran down­field.

In 1999, Alosi was one of eight Hof­s­tra Univer­sity football play­ers who broke into a dorm room and al­legedly as­saulted three stu­dents. Alosi pleaded guilty to a re­duced charge of har- ass­ment, a mis­de­meanor.

Alosi, 38, hasn’t given an in­ter­view since UCLA hired him in 2012, but his drill sergeant men­tal­ity and im­pres­sive physique earned a grudg­ing re­spect from play­ers. The coach didn’t re­turn re­peated phone calls Tues­day

Who in­sti­gated con­tact in the coach’s of­fice isn’t clear.

One ver­sion of events de­picted Alosi as de­fend­ing him­self against Combs through­out the en­counter and as the vic­tim of an at­tack that left his shirt torn.

But the per­son fa­mil­iar with Combs’ per­spec­tive said that the coach de­manded that the visi­tors leave, the dis­pute turned phys­i­cal and then spilled out of the of­fice. The com­mo­tion drew the at­ten­tion of four or f ive un­paid in­terns who work in and around the weight room.

The per­son said that Combs, 45, felt sur­rounded and feared for his safety. So, he grabbed a ket­tle­bell off a shelf where dozens of the ball- shaped weights with a ring on the end were stored a few steps from the of­fice door. The light­est one weighs about 17 pounds. Combs swung the ket­tle­bell — in self- de­fense, the per­son said — but didn’t touch any­one.

A state­ment is­sued Tues­day on be­half of Combs as­serted self- de­fense too.

“What we can say now is that any ac­tions taken by Mr. Combs were solely de­fen­sive in na­ture to pro­tect him­self and his son,” the state­ment said.

A se­cu­rity cam­era in the weight room cap­tured that part of the in­ci­dent.

UCLA de­clined to re­lease vic­tim names or a de­tailed ac­count of the in­ci­dent Tues­day. Public agen­cies around the state rou­tinely re­lease such in­for­ma­tion un­der Cal­i­for­nia law. But the univer­sity cited the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion for with­hold­ing the in­for­ma­tion.

A spokes­woman for the Los An­ge­les County Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice said it hadn’t re­ceived any re­quest from UCLA Po­lice to f ile crim­i­nal charges.

On In­sta­gram, Justin Combs posted a pic­ture with his fa­ther Tues­day af­ter­noon. They’re smil­ing.

“I thank God for hav­ing a fa­ther that’s al­ways there for me,” the son wrote, “Love you pops!”

Chris Bernacchi As­so­ci­ated Press

DE­FEN­SIVE BACK Justin Combs was re­port­edly be­rated by UCLA strength and con­di­tion­ing coach Sal Alosi on Mon­day dur­ing a vol­un­tary sum­mer work­out.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.