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Five Pacers, Seven Fans Are Charged

Past convictions could allow authorities to bump the offenses up to a "high misdemeanor," which is punishable by up to a year in prison and $1,000 fine, said Sheehan.

Gorcyca stressed that fans who threw objects at the players were guilty of assault and battery. In addition to Green and Bryant Jackson, William Paulson of Grand Blanc, Mich., and John Ackerman of St. Clair, Mich., will face assault and battery charges for throwing beverages at players. "For every thrown cup or liquid substance, the melee seemed to have escalated," Gorcyca said. "In fact it was probably the major inciting reason why there was confrontation between players as well as fans."


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Among the fans charged with assault and battery is the brother of Detroit Pistons forward-center Ben Wallace. David Wallace, of Selma Ala., was seen on videotape striking Pacers guard Fred Jones three times in the back of the head.

Fans Alvin "A.J." Shackelford and Charlie Haddad violated an ordinance that prohibits fans from entering the court, according to a spokesman from the Auburn Hills Police Department. They face a possible three-month jail sentence and a $100 fine.

Two days after the brawl, NBA Commissioner David Stern suspended Artest for 73 games -- the longest non-drug related suspension in league history. Jackson and O'Neal received 30- and 25-game suspensions, respectively. The NBA players' union wants the suspensions reduced. An arbitrator is scheduled to hear arguments today, and will decide whether Stern had "just cause" to punish the athletes.

The NBA reacted to Gorcyca's announcement by saying it did not plan any additional player discipline.

Since losing the three players to suspension, the Pacers, who are 10-8 overall, have gone 3-6 and lost their last five games.

Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh said in a statement that the club would "continue to support our players in every possible way for the duration of these proceedings and afterward."


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