Jun 29, 2006 9:40 pm US/Mountain
Suit: NBA Player Watching Porn, Drunk Before Crash
Claim Targets Minnesota Timberwolves' Eddie Griffin
(CBS) MINNEAPOLIS On March 30, Minnesota Timberwolves center Eddie Griffin was drunk and masturbating when he crashed his luxury SUV into a parked Suburban outside a store in Minneapolis, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by the man whose Suburban was hit in the crash.
WCCO-TV obtained copies of 911 calls and store surveillance video of the incident, along with an accident report the police submitted to the state, reports WCCO-TV's Caroline Lowe.
Several of the 911 callers that night said Griffin was drunk. One witness said Griffin told him he was watching pornography in a DVD player mounted on the dashboard of his Cadillac Escalade SUV when he struck a Chevy Suburban parked on University Avenue Southeast.
The location where Griffin crashed is located a couple miles from the Target Center where Griffin had played with his team several hours earlier.
Abed Hassuneh, who is the brother of the victim, said Griffin told him, "That he was masturbating himself going down that street. That's how the accident happened because he was not paying attention. He's paying attention to that video and all of a sudden he's shoveled somebody's car on the top of the sidewalk."
Interim Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan ordered an internal affairs investigation of the conduct of the two officers who responded to the scene, after WCCO-TV made Dolan aware of allegations about the incident.
Key questions are why Griffin wasn't tested for alcohol and why the officers drove him out of the city to his home in St. Paul. Griffin also received tickets for not having a license and inattentive driving.
Griffin's damaged SUV was towed to the Minneapolis impound lot.
Dolan told WCCO-TV he expects impartial policing. Dolan also said officers must get permission to leave the city.
"Obviously, if somebody is drunk and they are driving we want that dealt with by the police officers of Minneapolis," Dolan said.
In the video, Griffin can be heard pleading with witnesses to not call police saying, "I can't go to jail."
The video also shows Griffin admitting he is drunk and doesn't have a driver's license.
The video shows him struggling for minutes to put on his sweatshirt and offering to buy a car for the man who's SUV he crashed into in front of Santana Foods.
Griffin was not available for comment. When he was interviewed by reporters after the crash happened, he said he had dropped his cell phone as he drove.
The two officers involved in the incident, Daniel Anderson and Matthew Lindquist, have been with the Minneapolis Police Department since October 2001. The officers remain on duty pending the outcome of the internal investigation.