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Pair want justice in shooting

Two men targeted in an August roller rink shooting expressed frustration that the case remains unsolved, even though police have described the suspect as a “known associate” of boxing champ Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Damein Bland, 36, and Quincey Williams, 25, said this week they believe Las Vegas police have ample evidence to arrest the assailant who fired at them multiple times Aug. 23 outside the Crystal Palace Skating Center. The suspect, identified by police only as “O.C.,” is described as 6 feet tall, black and about 220 pounds. He has brown eyes and wore his black, shoulder-length hair in dreadlocks.

Bland and Williams identified O.C. as the boxer’s bodyguard. Police have not confirmed that.

The men reiterated what they told authorities: Williams was threatened by Mayweather shortly before the shooting. Bland said Mayweather, upset by a text message from Williams that said he hoped the undefeated boxer would lose, threatened Williams.

According to a police report, Williams said Mayweather said he could have him “trumped.” After the shooting, Williams told the Review-Journal that he thought Mayweather meant: “He’s got enough money to get me hit.”

Nobody was injured in the shooting. The BMW 650 that Bland drove was struck by six bullets.

The men complained that the wheels of justice are moving slowly and that Mayweather should be scrutinized in the investigation. Mayweather has not been named by police as a suspect.

“They say you should believe in the justice system,” said Williams, who now fears for his life. “But I guess the justice system only works when you’re a high-profile person and you have millions of dollars.”

Those close to Mayweather adamantly maintain that the boxer was not involved with the shooting.

“Floyd Mayweather had nothing to do with the alleged incident at the skating rink,” said Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather’s co-manager.

Mayweather’s attorney, Richard Wright, was more succinct in his defense of the boxing champion.

“They are mistaken,” he said of the claims made by Bland and Williams, who are voicing their frustrations amid planning for one of boxing’s most anticipated fights in decades.

Mayweather’s camp is negotiating with Manny Pacquiao’s handlers to solidify a match between the fighters in March, published reports have said. A location for the bout has not been selected, but the MGM Grand has been mentioned as a possibility.

On the day of the shooting, Williams and Bland went to the roller rink together. They said Mayweather also was at the rink with his children and was accompanied by bodyguards. Mayweather then approached Williams and threatened him, they said.

“Next thing I know, Floyd went up to Quincey pointing at him, threatening him, talking about the text,” Bland said.

The exchange lasted about 20 minutes, he said.

Bland said he and Mayweather were childhood friends in Michigan and that he has known the boxer for more than 20 years. Williams said he has known Mayweather for a decade.

Both men said O.C. was with Mayweather at the rink. Bland said he saw O.C. shooting at his car as he and Williams drove out of the parking lot. At least 10 people, mostly teenagers and their parents, were nearby.

Police have never disclosed whether they’ve identified O.C. or if they know his whereabouts.

Mayweather told police he didn’t know an “O.C.” and didn’t know anything about the shooting. According to a police report, Mayweather did confirm he was at the rink. The report said police had identified four witnesses and found seven cartridge casings at the scene.

Las Vegas police spokesman Bill Cassell said Wednesday he couldn’t discuss case details because the investigation is ongoing. But he said detectives are pursuing the case aggressively.

“Just because we can’t talk about what we’re doing doesn’t mean we are doing nothing,” Cassell said.

At the start of the investigation, police said they were searching for a suspect who is a “known associate” of Mayweather Promotions who might use the nickname “O.C.” Authorities also served a search warrant on Mayweather’s Southern Hills home and seized two handguns, multiple rounds of ammunition and two bulletproof vests. Two cell phones, a photo album and two plastic bottles were also taken. Police said Mayweather was cooperative during the search.

Witnesses told police that shots were fired about 10 p.m. at the skating center on Boulder Highway, north of Flamingo Road.

Mayweather’s Rolls Royce was seen near the shooting scene. Bland said he saw the Rolls Royce pull out behind his BMW after the shooting.

Bland said he believed Mayweather’s threat against Williams was serious, but he thought nothing would come of it at a roller rink because children were present.

“If it was me or Quincey doing something like that, we would have been arrested immediately just off of hearsay,” Bland said.

Williams wondered whether Mayweather’s role in the community as a big-money generator was influencing the investigation. Bland described the boxer as a Las Vegas “cash cow.”

Both men said they just want justice.

“It seems like nobody cares if I would have lost my life,” Williams said. “All they care about is what he can bring to the city.”

Allen Lichtenstein, general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, said the allegation of preferential treatment for high-profile individuals during police investigations has been made against the Metropolitan Police Department before. He specifically mentioned Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons, who was accused of assaulting a woman in a Las Vegas parking garage in 2006.

Richard Wright, who represented the woman in the case, raised concerns about the objectivity of the department in investigating this case. Then-Sheriff Bill Young, a Republican, had endorsed Gibbons for governor and was the first law enforcement official to contact Gibbons after the incident. No charges were ever brought against Gibbons.

“I do believe the current sheriff is making a sincere attempt that this is not happening,” Lichtenstein said. “The police department needs to make sure that even any appearance of preferential treatment is not in effect.”

Mayweather is a six-time world champion in multiple weight classes. He has had several run-ins with the law in the past:

• In 2002, he pleaded guilty to two charges of domestic violence and received a suspended six-month sentence. In exchange for the plea, a battery with a deadly weapon charge was dismissed.

• In 2003, he faced a felony domestic violence charge involving the mother of his children. A jury acquitted him after she recanted her allegations.

• In 2004, Mayweather was convicted of two counts of misdemeanor battery after two women claimed he punched them outside a Las Vegas night club. A judge sentenced him to one year in jail but suspended the sentence. He was ordered to undergo counseling and either pay a $1,000 fine or serve 100 hours of community service.

Contact reporter Antonio Planas at aplanas@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638.

 

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