I-Team: Pippen fight in Malibu under investigation, police say

July 12, 2013 10:05:34 AM PDT
There was a hockey-style fight outside a southern California restaurant, but it involved a former basketball star Scottie Pippen, once of the Chicago Bulls, and Monday Pippen spent some time with police.

Pippen had some family members out for sushi at a popular Malibu restaurant Sunday evening, but it was on the way out that things got raw.

Pippen allegedly decked an autograph-hound, sending the man to the hospital. Late Monday the former Bulls star forward landed in a southern California police station and was questioned by authorities.

The 47-year-old former Bulls star and current team executive left the Los Angeles County sheriff's department after surrendering earlier Monday afternoon.

Pippin, an NBA Hall of Famer, had been with his family dining at a posh beachfront sushi house according to authorities. With panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, it is a favorite of many Malibu celebrities.

Investigators say while inside the restaurant, Pippen was approached by a man wanting an autograph and again on the outside when he left. That is apparently where the fracas happened, with Pippen allegedly punching the guy in the face. With the victim hospitalized Sunday night, and based on witness descriptions, L.A. County authorities opened a felony assault investigation of Pippen.

"In these types of investigations there's always conflicting statements and stories, and that's why we have a few more witnesses, independent witnesses we would like to interview," said Lt. David Thompson, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "So, it's an ongoing investigation and we'll make a determination after we talk to a few more of the independent witnesses."

It isn't the first time Pippen has dribbled around legal problems. He was booked on a drunken driving charge in Texas 14 years ago and arrested in Chicago the year before on a gun charge. Both cases were later dropped.

Police say Pippin still lives in Chicago, but was out for dinner with his wife, children and in-laws when he allegedly punched out the autograph-seeker.

Pippen works as an advisor to the Bull's president and CEO. There was no comment from the Bulls on Monday.


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