Former actor punches tourist on Strip, gets probation

Nate Dooley and his fiancee came to Las Vegas earlier this month for a pre-marriage honeymoon.

Two days into the Iowan’s vacation, he was in the hospital after being knocked out by a man peddling CDs on the Strip.

That man was former actor Sidney Faison, who had roles in the 2005 film “Coach Carter,” the television show “CSI: New York” and commercials.

On Thursday, Faison, 37, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor battery charges for the Aug. 6 punch in front of Smith & Wollensky steakhouse, near Tropicana Avenue.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace William Kephart sentenced Faison to probation and ordered him to perform 50 hours of community service and stay out of trouble. Faison was given credit for serving two weeks in jail.

Dooley and Stephanie Bevans married Aug. 17. Back home, Dooley said he was disappointed with Faison’s sentence.

“Someone who doesn’t have respect for a woman … the punishment doesn’t seem to fit what he did,” Dooley said.

The minute-long episode began when Faison handed Bevans a music CD. A Las Vegas police report said: “Faison placed the CD into Bevans’ midsection until she was forced to take the CD from him.”

He then demanded a tip, and Bevans tried to give the CD back.

Dooley offered to tip Faison, but only had a $100 bill. Faison said the couple owed him $20.

“Faison became angry and told her again to give him $20 as he stepped closer to her,” the report said.

Bevans again tried to give the CD back, but Faison grabbed her arm and pulled her toward him.

Dooley, who said he stands 5 feet 5 inches tall, got between his fiance and Faison.

That is when the ex-thespian decked Dooley, knocking him unconscious and loosening three of his lower teeth, he said.

While Dooley spent six hours in Spring Valley Hospital, Faison was booked into the Clark County Detention Center.

Dooley said he still suffers headaches from the punch. And he is hoping his teeth will heal without dental surgery.

He was surprised to learn Faison was once an actor. “You wouldn’t think that someone with that kind of success would be doing such a thing,” Dooley said.

But he surmised that Faison’s success was likely fleeting. “Obviously he didn’t have much else going on. It kind of seemed like he had nothing to lose.”

What Faison is up to now is unknown. Records show he had no home address. He must complete his community service by Dec. 2 or face up to a year in jail.

Dooley doubts he will return to Las Vegas for a vacation anytime soon. “I don’t think so. At this point in time I have no desire to,” he said.