The police report detailing an alleged theft by members of the Spokane Shock football team backs up claims made by two women who came forward last week to say they had money stolen from their purses on May 23 in a Las Vegas lounge.
The Spokesman-Review on Thursday obtained a copy of the report which says a security video clearly shows Shock player Mark Jackson, 26, taking money from three purses and handing some of the cash over to two other players, who were seated across the table.
“I could see on the footage,” an officer wrote in the report, “that Jackson was laughing while he was taking money from the purse.”
Also on Thursday, the team released a statement saying it suspended two players once the team became aware that they were under investigation for possible theft charges.
The team placed Jackson, an offensive lineman, and receiver Samuel Charles on league suspension last Friday, which is the day the initial article about the theft investigation was published in the newspaper.
“We are extremely disappointed by the alleged incident that was recently brought to our attention involving two of our players in Las Vegas, Nevada during the weekend of May 23, 2015,” director of operations Ryan Eucker wrote in a statement. “We have been cooperating with AFL staff and the Las Vegas Metro Police Department in the ongoing investigation.”
Reached by phone on Thursday, alleged victims Lindsay Preisinger and Blair Hollis, both of Kansas City, both said the money has not been returned and they are not aware that charges have been filed. They both also said they have not heard from Shock officials.
“I would have expected a higher level of professionalism from a professional sports team front office,” Preisinger said.
According to the report, Preisinger, Hollis and Hollis’ sister met the Shock players at the Gold Spike lounge following the team’s 63-56 win over the Outlaws. At the time of the incident, Hollis was dating a Shock player.
Preisinger said she watched the purses as Hollis and her sister went to play a “corn hole” game with two other players. As Preisinger spoke to one player, the report says the security video shows how Jackson pulled money from all three purses and handed some of the cash to other players.
While he wasn’t named in the report, one of those players who received cash was later identified as Charles. Preisinger and Hollis both said a detective later identified Charles based on a Facebook photo taken earlier in the night that matched the clothing Charles wore at the Gold Spike.
Once they realized about $600 was missing, the women alerted the Gold Spike’s head of security who told police that he tried to detain Jackson until officers could arrive. But Jackson “pushed him out of the way and left in a cab with some of his teammates,” the report states.
Preisinger said she called team owner Nader Naini on May 24 and reached out to Eucker on May 25. The team’s statement wasn’t issued until Thursday, which is more than two weeks after she contacted team officials.
In the team statement, Eucker directed further inquires to the Arena Football League but he said the Shock front office will continue to monitor the case and keep Jackson and Charles on suspension “until further information is presented.
“The Shock believes that it is our civic duty and responsibility to our fans to hold all those involved in our organization, both on and off the field, to the highest standards of conduct,” Eucker wrote.
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