Cavs' J.R. Smith accused of choking teenage heckler on NY streets

BY foxsports • November 20, 2015

Cleveland Cavaliers swingman J.R. Smith has been accused of choking a 19-year-old after being heckled outside a restaurant in New York earlier this month.

According to a report from the New York Daily News, Justin Brown claims he was with some friends who were giving Smith a hard time after the NBA star refused to pose for a photo with them. Smith reportedly is shown on a cellphone video walking away from the group after Brown taunted him.

“That’s why New York kicked you out, yo!” Brown allegedly said.

Brown told police he exchanged words with Smith before the Cavs guard allegedly pushed him up against a building and grabbed him by the throat. Police were on the scene after the alleged incident took place, but a report wasn't filed until three days later. Brown was told by police that the initial report was “lost,” a source told the Daily News. 

Smith’s lawyer Alex Spiro said the accusations against Smith are “completely false.” Spiro is the same attorney who represented Thabo Sefolosha, who recently was acquitted of charges he faced following a confrontation with police outside a New York City nightclub. Sefolosha suffered a broken leg, allegedly when an officer struck him while he was being arrested. You can see a video of the struggle here.

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, the restaurant where the incident with Smith took place, is located on the same street as 1OAK nightclub, a popular celebrity hangout. It is unclear if Smith was at the club before the altercation.

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