Orlando Magic guard Steve Francis finds himself the target of a lawsuit stemming from a brawl at a District nightclub during an after-party for the Mike Tyson-Kevin McBride fight Saturday night.
The 26-page lawsuit, filed Wednesday night in D.C. Superior Court, alleges that Francis and his "entourage" beat three brothers at the Zanzibar club in Southwest without provocation and knocked two of them unconscious.
Francis's agent, Jeff Fried, yesterday called the lawsuit a "shakedown," and said that Francis immediately left the club with his security detail when the fight broke out. "It's ridiculous," Fried said of the lawsuit. "Every indication we have is that this is another example of a shakedown of a high profile, wealthy athlete."
He said Francis had not been interviewed by police but planned to fully cooperate.
D.C. police Cmdr. Thomas E. McGuire of the First District said the incident is under investigation, but no criminal charges have been filed. "We will interview all that are identified in our investigation," McGuire said.
Francis, 28, came from the University of Maryland in 1999. The 6-foot-3 all-star guard was traded from the Houston Rockets to the Magic last year. An Orlando team spokesman said yesterday that the club was awaiting more details on the incident.
The lawsuit was filed by brothers Nafis Muhammad-Baker, 23, of Suitland and Akbar Muhammad, 24, of Newark, N.J. The third brother, Ahmad Muhammad of Richmond, remained yesterday in the intensive care unit at George Washington University Hospital, said the plaintiffs' attorney. He was not named as a plaintiff in the suit.
The suit asks for unspecified damages and names Francis as a defendant as well as unidentified club patrons referred to only as "John Does 1-12."