Thursday, March 29, 2012

Weekly paper gets to the bottom of basketball-fan incident that went viral, tells a more complex tale

The nationally noted incident between two basketball fans, one of the University of Kentucky and the other represented as a fan of the University of Louisville, "may actually have stemmed from ongoing hostility" between the two, Dan Adkins reports in today's edition of the thrice-weekly News-Graphic in Georgetown. And the supposed U of L fan says he's a UK fan.

Charles Taylor, 71, punched Ed Wilson, 68, after Wilson gave him the finger and told him to stop "running his mouth" and saying Louisville would beat Kentucky in the national semifinals of the NCAA men's basketball tournament Saturday.

“Listed witnesses stated that Mr. Wilson antagonized Mr. Taylor, and that they attempt to keep them apart during their visits,” says a Georgetown Police Department report quoted by the newspaper. “We were advised that the apparent victim of the assault had antagonized the apparent perpetrator, and that this sort of behavior has been on-going.”

Taylor told reporter Adkins that he is a Kentucky fan, too, but arrived at the clinic with "a Louisville fan, with whom he was discussing the upcoming game," Adkins reports. He said Wilson gave him the finger three times and he told him, ‘If you do it again, I’ll break that finger off.”

"There is some dispute about the blow that was thrown," Adkins reports. "A police report says Wilson 'reports that Mr. Taylor came over to his chair and stood over him ... (and) struck him on the left side of his face.' The report also said Taylor 'stated that he struck Mr. Wilson in the head.' . . . Taylor told the News-Graphic that he 'hit (Wilson) in the chest.' In any event, Wilson did not appear to have been injured, the report said. No charges have been filed." Wilson declined to discuss the incident in detail.

"Taylor said he’s come out on the worst end of the incident – and not because he has been inaccurately labeled a U of L fan," Adkins writes. "Officials at the dialysis center told him he has been suspended from receiving the life-saving treatments there, Taylor said. He must now travel to Lexington for treatments. 'They’re saying it’s going to cost me $18 for a ride to Lexington,' Taylor said."

All but the first two paragraphs of the News-Graphic story are behind a pay wall, so it will cost you $6 to read it.

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