More hard, he explained, meant “more gangsta.”
“You know, like some people turn over a new leaf when something bad like that changes their life. I heard Javaris went the other way — he became more ’hood, more hardened in that way. I don’t know if that’s the case, but that’s what I heard.”
Crittenton was on the lam for several days after being wanted by Atlanta police in connection with an Aug. 19 murder. He was arrested Monday evening after checking in for a red-eye flight in Orange County, Calif. Shuttled to a Los Angeles police station, he was booked on suspicion of being a fugitive from justice. A federal arrest warrant had been issued after the FBI found out he left his home for Southern California, where he was known to have family and friends, via a one-way ticket.
A woman named Jullian Jones, 22, a mother of four, was struck by gunfire from a black SUV while walking at night with two other men on a Southwest Atlanta street. One of the men, police said, had stolen jewelry from Crittenton, who in retaliation allegedly missed his intended target.
His lawyer said Crittenton had offered to turn himself in to Atlanta authorities on Monday, claiming Crittenton is innocent.
Maybe. Certainly his friends and family and those who came into contact with the quiet loner want to believe that.
But the mere notion of Crittenton as a person of primary interest in the death of another by gunshot instantly has to cast the events of December 2009 in a more disturbing light.
“Oh, I thought about what could have happened worse that day,” said Gilbert Arenas Sr., by telephone from Van Nuys, Calif., on Monday. “Definitely you think about your son being in more harm’s way than you thought at the time. I just pray for the kid and his family and hope what they’re saying isn’t true.”
D.C police never determined whether Crittenton’s gun was loaded almost 20 months ago, two days after Crittenton grew tired of a clowning Arenas on the team plane, telling his teammate he would shoot Arenas in the knee if he didn’t pay off a card-playing debt.
But two eyewitnesses that day in the locker room said Crittenton was contemplating pulling the trigger in response to Arenas laying out four unloaded guns on a towel with a note that read, “PICK 1” — in essence, cryptically daring the reserve guard to carry out his threat. Crittenton, the people in the room that day said, chambered a round in his own revolver. He had live ammunition, they believed, and might not be bluffing.
Never up for debate is what happened next: Unsure of Crittenton’s frame of mind, the room quickly emptied.