Rockets' Alston disputes misdemeanor assault, public intoxication charges

HOUSTON -- Rockets guard Rafer Alston said Monday he was
innocent of misdemeanor assault and public intoxication charges
filed against him a day earlier.

Alston was accused of grabbing a parking attendant's arm,
shaking him and spitting on him after Alston's vehicle was towed
from a lot early Sunday. The attendant said Alston parked illegally
and did not pay.

Alston told Houston television station KRIV that he didn't do
anything to the attendant.

"We got into a shouting match. My car was towed and I was
basically asking the parking attendant where he had my car towed
to," Alston said in a story on KRIV's Web site. "There were no
hits, nothing transpired. The guy runs off and yells down the
street, like, he needed an officer over here. Before you know it,
the officer puts me in cuffs and takes me downtown."

"I asked the guy what was I being charged with and he said
public intoxication and assaulting someone, and I said, 'I am
neither of those,'" Alston said.

Both charges against Alston are misdemeanors, said Victor
Senties, a Houston police spokesman.

"We are aware of the situation and are attempting to get more
details about the incident," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey
said in a statement. "While we do not have all the facts yet, it
is nevertheless very disappointing to have one of our players
involved with any police activity. We will continue working with
the authorities in order to get to the bottom of the situation."

The 6-foot-2 player out of Fresno State joined the NBA during
the 1999-2000 season with Milwaukee. Alston signed with the Rockets
in 2004 and averaged 13.3 points last season.