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Mayweather goes to jail

Champion boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. was arrested on a battery charge just before midnight Thursday at a Strip casino, Las Vegas police said.

The misdemeanor charge stems from allegations he repeatedly poked a Southern Highlands security officer in the face after a Nov. 15 confrontation over a parking citation.

Mayweather was held at Clark County Detention Center until
10:53 a.m. Friday, when he was released on his own recognizance.

According to court documents, security guard Shayne Smith told Las Vegas police he cited two of Mayweather’s vehicles for parking violations in the upscale Southern Highlands gated community. A confrontation ensued, and the boxer allegedly was verbally abusive and jabbed his finger into Smith’s cheek. Smith had redness and discoloration on the left side of his face after the incident.

Although Mayweather was charged on the offense earlier this month, Justice of the Peace Tony Abbatangelo quashed the arrest warrant on Dec. 7, the same day he signed it. That allowed Mayweather to avoid being arrested and booked at that time.

Prosecutors accused Abbatangelo of giving Mayweather special treatment, which he denied. But on Wednesday Assistant District Attorney Chris Owens asked Abbatangelo to “follow the law in regard to the booking process … it seems like that part was circumvented somehow.”

Instead of an arrest last week, Mayweather’s latest legal problem popped onto Abbatangelo’s calendar in what Owens called “an unusual proceeding.” Owens said a judge normally signs an arrest warrant and the defendant is arrested, followed by a court appearance.

Abbatangelo called the sequence followed in the case “routine.”

“We do that all day long. We don’t process every single person through who has this situation,” he said, indicating that if Mayweather had been charged with a felony, he would have handled it differently.

But Abbatangelo relented, reinstating the arrest warrant. Mayweather’s attorneys had said Wednesday the boxer was out of town. It was expected that he would make arrangements to surrender on his return.

This is not the first time Abbatangelo has been at odds with prosecutors in a Mayweather matter.

Earlier this year, authorities were upset when Abbatangelo interceded in a case and without consulting prosecutors set a low bail of $7,500 for an associate of the boxer accused of attempted murder.

Ocie Harris awaits trial for two felonies for the August 2009 shooting at a roller skating rink.

Harris is represented by defense attorney Tom Pitaro, who also represented Abbatangelo in a domestic violence case for which the judge was himself sentenced to two days in jail.

When the Harris case was bound over to District Court, a judge set bail at $140,000.

The boxer’s most recent charge could lead another justice of the peace to revoke Mayweather’s bail on pending felony charges stemming from a Sept. 9 domestic violence incident involving his three children and their mother, Josie Harris.

Mayweather, who is facing several felony charges, including felony coercion, grand larceny and robbery, is free on $31,000 bail in that case.

In that case, he was accused of beating Harris at her home while their kids watched.

Since bail was set in that case, police have conducted two separate investigations into accusations made against Mayweather, including Smith’s.

Last month, Quincey Williams, a former Mayweather employee and one of two victims in the roller rink shooting, told police Mayweather tried to force his vehicle off Arville Road, near Spring Mountain Road.

That incident remains under investigation.

Contact reporter Mike Blasky at mblasky@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283. Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.

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