NBA star J.R. Smith charged with breaking fan’s phone in NYC
NEW YORK (AP) — NBA player J.R. Smith is facing charges he broke the cellphone of a fan who tried to take video of him in the middle of the night outside a Manhattan pizzeria.
The Cleveland Cavaliers guard, 32, turned himself to police Friday. He was released with a summons to appear in court at a later date on a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief.
Asked to comment, the NBA champion’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, said, “This is nonsense and we are not responding to nonsense.”
The charge stems from a report by a 20-year-old man from Pennsylvania who said he was on a busy block in the Chelsea neighborhood at about 2:45 a.m. July 29 when he recognized Smith walking by and tried to record him using Snapchat, police said.
The man alleged Smith responded by snatching away his phone and heaving it across 10th Avenue into a construction zone, breaking the screen, police said. The man flagged down two patrol officers who looked around for Smith, but by then he was gone.
Smith played for the New York Knicks until 2015, when he was traded the Cavaliers. He was on the LeBron James-led team that won the NBA championship in 2016.