WASHINGTON (AP) — Wizards guard Bradley Beal is being sued by a fan who claims the NBA star struck the side of his head with his hand and knocked his hat off after a March game at Orlando.
Kyler Briffa filed the lawsuit this week in circuit court in Orange County, Florida. Briffa claims he and a friend were at the March 21 game, in which the Magic beat the Wizards 122-112. The suit says fans with courtside seats were allowed to enter the team tunnel as players left the court, and that after Beal walked past, Briffa's friend made a comment about losing a bet on the game.
The suit claims Beal walked back toward Briffa and struck the side of his head, knocking his hat off.
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Briffa says he told Beal he didn't make the comment, and that the friend took responsibility and apologized, but that Beal continued the confrontation with Briffa, saying: "When you disrespect me, I'm going to press you about it. Do you think this is a joke, do you think this is a joke, do you think this is a joke, do you think this is a joke ... because when I press you about it, what are we doing? What are we doing? What are we doing?"
The lawsuit claims Briffa "suffered emotional distress, mental anguish, fear and humiliation, pain and suffering and loss of capacity of enjoyment of life."
The Wizards were also accused of negligence in the suit, which seeks damages exceeding $50,000. The team declined comment Wednesday night.
The alleged incident involving Beal first became news in late March, when a police case report said probable cause existed to charge Beal with simple battery. The report said the case would be filed with the local State Attorney's Office.
According to the police report, a fan swore at Beal and accused him of causing the fan to lose $1,300 from a bet. At some point, Beal swatted a hat off the head of the heckler's friend, police said, allegedly hitting the friend's head.
Beal said last week he's noticed more nastiness related to sports gambling in the past few years.