PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns’ Marcus and Markieff Morris are being investigated on allegations that they joined three other men in beating a man in January, according to police documents made available Wednesday.
Phoenix police are seeking aggravated assault charges against all five in the alleged attack against Erik Hood.
According to the police report, Hood was leaving a high school basketball game on Jan. 24 when he was approached by a friend of the brothers. Hood told police the man was speaking to him when he was punched in the back of the head.
Hood ran to his car but fell down. Hood told police that the man who had approached him held him down while four men, including the Morris twins, kicked and hit him repeatedly, according to the report. All five then left the area in a Rolls-Royce Phantom as bystanders began to appear.
A friend of Hood’s drove him to a hospital where he was treated for a fractured nose, abrasions and a large bump on his head.
In an interview at their home on Feb. 10 with a police investigator, both brothers denied any involvement in the incident. When asked if Hood used to mentor them and had even been to their house back in Philadelphia, both said “hell no.”
A witness positively identified both brothers as participants in the attack, authorities said.
Maricopa County prosecutor Bill Montgomery said Wednesday that his office is reviewing the case and will make a decision on whether charges will be filed within the next couple of weeks.
The twins declined to comment Wednesday night before the Suns’ game in Dallas.
In a statement, the Phoenix Suns said they were aware of an investigation.
“We have no information beyond what has been alleged in the police report and therefore have no further comment on the matter at this time,” the team statement said. “Our organization will closely monitor developments as the legal process unfolds.”
The 6-foot-9 twins from Philadelphia played together at Kansas and were reunited in 2013, when Marcus was traded from Houston to the Suns, who drafted Markieff with the 13th overall pick of the 2011 NBA draft.
According to Hood’s account, he formed a strong bond with the 25-year-old brothers when they were ninth-graders with dreams of becoming professional basketball players. Hood, 36, who graduated from the same Philadelphia high school as them, said he sometimes coached them and even shuttled them to practices.
But things soured about a year before they were drafted. The brothers cut off all contact with him after their friend found texts from Hood indicating he wanted their mother to be his girlfriend, Hood said.
Hood maintains that their mother, Tomasine Morris, still kept in touch with him and texted him the day of the assault to ask where he was. When reached by police on Feb. 10, Tomasine Morris denied communicating with Hood and knowing that he was in Phoenix.
The Morris twins have been key contributors to the Suns, with Markieff starting all 78 games this season and Marcus starting 32. Markieff is averaging 15.4 points and 6.1 rebounds, and Marcus 10.5 points and 4.6 rebounds.
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