MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- Shaquille O'Neal provided an assist to
police over the weekend, trailing a man who allegedly assaulted a
gay couple before alerting an arresting officer.
The 7-foot-1 Miami Heat center, who is in the process of
becoming a Miami Beach reserve officer, was driving on South Beach
around 3 a.m. Sunday. He saw a passenger in a car yell anti-gay
slurs at the couple, who were walking, said Bobby Hernandez, a
spokesman for the Miami Beach Police Department.
The man then got out of the car and threw a bottle, hitting one
of the pedestrians, who was not seriously hurt. The man got back in
the car, which sped off. O'Neal followed, flagging down an officer
who made an arrest, Hernandez said.
Michael Gonzalez, 18, was arrested on charges of aggravated
assault and assault with a deadly weapon. The driver of the car was
O'Neal, who hopes to be a police chief or county sheriff one
day, was already being fitted for his Miami Beach police uniform
before he helped the police out.
"For this incident I don't want to be credited as an individual
who does police work," O'Neal said in a statement. "I want to be
credited as a Miami Beach police officer."