LAS VEGAS -- An apparent audiotape of O.J. Simpson's
standoff with men he accused of stealing his memorabilia begins
with the ex-NFL star demanding, "Don't let nobody out of here."
"Think you can steal my [expletive] and sell it?" the voice
identified as Simpson's said.
Simpson was arrested Sunday and booked on charges connected with
what police described as a robbery at a Las Vegas hotel. In the
audiotape released Monday by the celebrity news Web site TMZ.com, a
man believed to be Simpson is heard shouting questions while other
men yell orders to the people in the room.
The recording was made by Thomas Riccio, co-owner of the auction
house Universal Rarities, according to TMZ. Simpson has said Riccio
called him several weeks ago to tell him collectors were selling
some of his items.
Riccio did not immediately return a call for comment Monday, but
he told TMZ he believed Simpson was planning to confront Alfred
Beardsley, who was allegedly planning to auction off the memorabilia.
Another collector in the hotel room, Bruce Fromong, said the
meeting was set up as if the men were customers, but when they
arrived, it was clear something else was going on.
Simpson said he was accompanied by men he met at a wedding cocktail
party, and they took the collectibles. Fromong told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday that Simpson was the last person who came through the door.
"The door burst open, and in came, running in, almost commando-style, O.J. Simpson and some of his people, with guns drawn," Fromong said. "And O.J. at that time was saying, 'I want my stuff. I want my stuff.'
"The thing in my mind as soon as I saw him, I'm thinking,
'O.J., how can you be this dumb? You're in enough trouble.' "
Fromong said Simpson later left him a voice mail message telling
him some of Fromong's things were "mixed up" with his and asking
how he could give them back.
"It's like a bad dream," Beardsley said. "I'm sad that O.J.
is in custody."
Simpson has said he was accompanied by men he met at a wedding
cocktail party, and that they took the collectibles.
It was merely a confrontation with no guns, Simpson said. He
said autographed sports collectibles, his Hall of Fame certificate,
a photograph with former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and video
from his first wedding were all his, and that they were stolen from
him and were about to be fenced by unethical collectors.
The items likely belonged to Simpson at one point, Fromang said,
"but these were things that belonged to him a long time ago."
Police said they weren't sure who now owned the memorabilia.
"Whether or not the property belonged to Mr. Simpson or not is
still in debate," Lt. Clint Nichols said Sunday. "Having said
that, the manner in which this property was taken, we have a
responsibility to look into that, irregardless of who the property
After being whisked away in handcuffs, Simpson was booked Sunday
night on two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, two counts of
assault with a deadly weapon, and conspiracy to commit a crime and
burglary with a firearm, police said.
The district attorney said he expected Simpson to ultimately be
charged with seven felonies and one gross misdemeanor. If
convicted, Simpson could face up to 30 years in prison on each
A judge ordered Simpson held without bail. Las Vegas court
information officer Michael Sommermeyer said Simpson's arraignment
was set for Wednesday, with a bail hearing to be held after that.
Simpson attorney Yale Galanter said Monday he hoped to get
Simpson released before then.
"Mr. Simpson is not guilty of these charges," Galanter said.
He declined to say whether he had met with police and prosecutors.
"We believe it is an extremely defensible case based on
conflicting witness statements, flip-flopping by witnesses and
witnesses making deals with the government to flip," Galanter said
Beardsley blamed the incident on Riccio, who he claims told
Simpson that his property was in the room in Las Vegas.
"If they don't charge Riccio I will be very upset. That guy
lied to O.J. and got him all pumped up," he said.
Simpson, 60, told the AP that he didn't call the police to help
reclaim the items because he has found the police unresponsive to
him ever since his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron
Goldman were killed in 1994. Simpson was acquitted of murder
charges but found liable in a wrongful death civil trial.
"The police, since my trouble, have not worked out for me,"
Police said they had no information to indicate Simpson was
armed during the hotel confrontation last week. Fromong also said
Simpson was unarmed: "Never at any time was I ever, did I feel
threatened by O.J.," he said.
Police seized two firearms believed to involved in the robbery
along with sports memorabilia, mostly signed by Simpson. They also
said they recovered collectible baseballs and Joe Montana cleats at
private residences early Sunday after serving three search
Walter Alexander, 46, of Mesa, Ariz., was arrested Saturday
night on two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, two counts of
assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery and
burglary with a deadly weapon. Alexander, who was described as one
of Simpson's golfing buddies, was released without bail Saturday
Robert Dennis Rentzer, a Los Angeles lawyer representing
Alexander, said he was able to arrange his client's release but
wasn't familiar with the allegations.
Late Monday, a third man suspected of barging into the hotel
room with Simpson was arrested, police said.
Clarence Stewart, 53, of Las Vegas, surrendered at his
lawyer's office for police officers to take him into custody, Nichols said.
Stewart lived at one of the residences that police searched
early Sunday to recover sports memorabilia taken in the alleged heist. Stewart turned over some of the missing
goods, including footballs bearing autographs, Nichols said.
Stewart was held on six felony charges: two counts of robbery
with a deadly weapon, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon,
burglary with a deadly weapon and conspiracy.
Police are seeking three other men: Las Vegas resident Michael McClinton, 49; Tom Scotto, of unknown age
and hometown, and another man who was not identified.
Simpson, a Heisman Trophy winner and actor, lives near Miami and
has been a tabloid staple since his ex-wife and Goldman were
Goldman's father, Fred Goldman, welcomed the possibility that
Simpson could go to prison.
"How wonderful," he told CBS's "The Early Show" Monday. "A
lot of years too late, however. I would have much preferred him
found guilty of Ron and Nicole's death and then put either to death
or in jail then. But frankly to see him ultimately or potentially
go to jail -- that's great."
Simpson's arrest came just days after the Goldman family
published a book that Simpson had written under the title "If I
Did It" about how he would have committed the killings of his
ex-wife and Goldman had he actually done it.
After a deal for Simpson to publish it fell through, a federal
bankruptcy judge awarded the book's rights to the Goldman family,
who retitled it "If I Did It: The Confessions of the Killer."
During the weekend, the book was the hottest seller in the country,
hitting No. 1 on Amazon.com.
Information from The Associated Press and ABCNews.com is included in this report