Contrary to some reports online, Scottie Pippen has not been arrested for assault. The former Chicago Bulls player and Basketball Hall of Famer was allegedly involved in a physical altercation outside a Malibu, Calif., restaurant Sunday night. Initially, TMZ reported that Pippen had been arrested and booked for assaulting an autograph seeker, and while it seems that the incident did indeed occur, he was not arrested.
On Monday afternoon, TMZ reported that Pippen had “brutalized an autograph seeker outside Nobu restaurant on Sunday night” and had turned himself in to the police. According to the TMZ report, Pippen was booked for felony assault with intent to commit great bodily harm. However, that report now appears to be untrue. TMZ has since changed its story, but the original version has been documented by Deadspin and Yahoo.
In contrast to TMZ’s report that Pippen was under arrest, the Chicago Tribune stated that he had simply visited a Los Angeles County sheriff's station for questioning related to the fight. The Tribune confirms that Pippen did engage in a physical altercation with a man outside of Nobu Malibu on Sunday, but according to sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore, Pippen was not arrested.
"We are speaking with everybody, including Mr. Pippen," said Whitmore. "Right now he is not under arrest, he has not been booked."
As for the incident itself, Whitmore said it was an argument that turned physical outside of the restaurant. He added that more information is needed to determine exactly what happened.
"That argument led to an altercation," Whitmore said. "Our detectives are investigating this right now."
After the Chicago Tribune’s report went online, TMZ updated its story to say that Pippen had merely been questioned by Los Angeles County officers and had not been arrested.
“Law enforcement sources tell us, Pippen contacted authorities in Malibu moments ago. We're told police decided against arresting Pippen after speaking with him,” the revised TMZ report reads.
Still, some details of TMZ’s initial report appear to be true. Pippen did indeed engage in a fight with a man outside of Nobu Malibu, and the unidentified man was confirmed to have visited a hospital after the incident. According to the Los Angeles Times, the other man was visibly intoxicated during the altercation.
The Chicago Bulls have not released a statement on Pippen’s fight.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.