News & Notes

In Virginia, O'Neal Gets a Taste of a Bad Stakeout

Heat center Shaquille O'Neal, who aspires to be a police chief after he retires from basketball, was sworn in as a reserve police officer last December.
Heat center Shaquille O'Neal, who aspires to be a police chief after he retires from basketball, was sworn in as a reserve police officer last December. (Miami Beach Police Photo Via Associated Press)
Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Shaquille O'Neal was present during a botched child pornography raid last month while working in Virginia as a reserve sheriff's deputy.

The Miami Heat center, who pursues his interest in law enforcement during the offseason, denied yesterday taking part in serving the search warrant at the wrong house Sept. 23. However, Bedford County Sheriff's Lt. Michael Harmony confirmed that O'Neal was there.

O'Neal, in Orlando to play a preseason game last night, was asked about the raid and several times somewhat playfully responded, "It wasn't me."

The 13-time all-star has expressed an interest in becoming a Bedford deputy or sheriff somewhere else after his NBA career ends.

A.J. Nuckols , who said his family has filed formal complaints, wrote in a letter published in the Chatham Star-Tribune that the raid at his Gretna, Va., home "scared beyond description" him and his family. Nuckols also said in a telephone interview that he heard O'Neal was at his home, but didn't specifically see the 7-foot-1, 325-pounder in all the commotion.

It wasn't until later authorities realized they had been given the wrong IP address, which Internet service providers can use to identify users, leading them to the wrong physical address, Harmony said. It was the Internet company's mistake, he said.

· BASEBALL: Kirby Puckett 's cremated remains were awarded to the baseball star's children.

Puckett, who played for the Minnesota Twins, died in March at 45 after a stroke. His body was cremated in the Twin Cities and the ashes were kept by a funeral home.

Maricopa County (Ariz.) Superior Court Judge Benjamin E. Vatz ruled it was an emotional hardship to deny the remains to the children -- Catherine , 16, and Kirby Jr ., 14.

Puckett's fiancee, Jodi Olson , sought the ashes, saying she wanted some of them for a locket. The couple were living together in Scottsdale when he died.

· BOXING : Former IBF lightweight champion Paul Spadafora , on parole for shooting his fiancee, plans to return to the ring against an unnamed opponent Nov. 22 after a two-year layoff.

Spadafora (38-0-1) last fought in July 2004, knocking out Francisco Campos in the third round.

· TENNIS : Top-seeded Marcos Baghdatis and No. 2 Gaston Gaudio both were upset in the first round of the Lyon (France) Grand Prix yesterday. Frenchman Arnaud Clement eliminated Baghdatis, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, while Simon Greul of Germany beat Gaudio, 6-0, 6-2.

· COLLEGE SOCCER: Goals by Spencer Allen , Jeremy Hall , Omar Gonzalez and Pat Wilson lifted the sixth-ranked Maryland men's team (13-3-1) to a 4-1 victory over visiting Bucknell. The Terps will close the regular season at home Friday against Virginia Tech.

-- From News Services and Staff Reports

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