Police arrest friend of Grizzlies' Ja Morant tied to civil case

Tennessee law enforcement on Wednesday arrested Davonte Pack, a longtime close friend of Memphis Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant, for misdemeanor assault for hitting a teenager at Morant's house last summer, an altercation that has ensnared Morant and those close to him in an ongoing civil lawsuit.

The incident took place at Morant's residence in Eads, a suburb outside Memphis, on July 26, 2022. In a statement to authorities, Morant admitted to hitting Joshua Holloway, then 17, during a pickup game, though Morant later claimed self-defense, arguing that Holloway checked the ball hard at his face.

In a May 2023 deposition taken as part of the lawsuit filed by Holloway that accuses Morant and Pack of assault, reckless endangerment, abuse or neglect, and infliction of emotional distress, Pack admitted to striking Holloway but added that he "did not feel threatened at the time he struck Holloway in the head area knocking him to the ground," according to the Shelby County Sheriff's Office arrest warrant issued last week for Pack, which ESPN obtained.

"Investigators were provided with medical records dated July 27, 2022 that show Holloway sustained bodily injury to include a hematoma to the scalp, sore jaw and headaches in the area of where Pack struck him," the warrant stated.

Initially, authorities stated that they weren't provided with Pack's identity and Holloway's statement only referred to Pack by nickname only, the warrant stated, adding that Morant's statement to authorities then did not provide Pack's name, either.

Witness affidavits provided to authorities referred to this individual as a third-party 'participant,' the warrant stated, though authorities were later provided with information identifying Pack as the third-party individual who struck Holloway and knocked him to the ground. Authorities then received Pack's deposition testimony, during which he admitted to hitting Holloway.

Pack is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning. In a statement to ESPN when the arrest warrant was issued July 10, the Shelby County District Attorney's Office, which consulted in the matter, stated that Pack had been charged with "Simple Assault in relation to the July 2022 altercation involving Mr. Pack, Memphis Grizzlies basketball player Ja Morant, and a juvenile basketball player at Mr. Morant's residence in Eads."

The statement added, "The SCDAG Office will proceed to prosecute this case as we would any Simple Assault. As this is an active case, there is no further information we can provide at this time."

Morant's lawyers have argued that he should be immune from liability under Tennessee's "stand your ground" law, which allows those who feel threatened at their homes to act with force in certain situations. On July 12, Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Carol Chumney ruled that Morant's lawyers can proceed with that argument. The judge also issued a stay in the case, with the next hearing scheduled for Oct. 12. Morant has filed a countersuit accusing Holloway of slander, battery and assault. No criminal charges have been filed against Morant.

Pack has been involved in a number of off-court incidents tied to Morant. The Instagram Live video in May of Morant brandishing what appeared to be a gun, which led to Morant's 25-game suspension, was posted on Pack's Instagram account. Pack was also banned from Grizzlies home games for a year after an investigation into the postgame incident with the Pacers' traveling party on Jan. 29. And Pack was escorted out of his courtside seat after stepping onto the floor during the game to confront Pacers' players.