Police on Monday were called to an LA Fitness in Sterling, Va., after a hard foul during a pickup basketball game.
The incident was documented by Twitter user @_togs.
“Today for the first time in my life . . . I experienced someone call the police because they got fouled hard in basketball,” he wrote on Tuesday in a tweet that has been shared more than 28,000 times.
In his account, players in the gym were stunned. “We thought he was joking til we saw buddy at the front desk on the phone really calling the police,” tweeted @_togs, who did not immediately respond to a request for an interview.
After police arrived, @_togs said both men were taken “out the gym to talk like it was an elementary school fight,” he tweeted. “You could tell he was blown cause his time was wasted.”
Twitter user @liberiansoul, later identified by Deadspin as Thomas Mulabah, 28, caught the tail end of the incident on video. Mulabah asked an officer if he had ever been called for a basketball game. “No,” he responded, adding he arrived to the gym thinking it was a fight.
Although the men involved could not be identified, HuffPost posted a police incident report that describes the “suspect” as wearing a “headband.” The police also recorded the sequence of events after their arrival.
“Caller is desk clerk.”
“Victim is at front desk.”
Both men admitted they “fouled each other” (@_togs tweeted that it was more like an aggressive screen) and declined to file a report, according to the police’s incident report. Management then gave them a chance to engage in a “civil” game or risk losing gym access for the remainder of the day, police said.
It is not immediately clear why anyone found it necessary to call the police over a foul or if race was a factor. But some people online saw it as the umpteenth incident this summer where people call police on black people while they do humdrum things.
Jill Greuling, a spokeswoman for LAFitness, told The Washington Post that she is familiar with the incident but has “no information on the race of either member involved.”