Basketball / Sports

Ray Allen addresses 'potentially devastating invasion' of Coral Gables home

MIAMI -- A day after seven young adults entered the Coral Gables home of Miami Heat free-agent guard Ray Allen, the family and their attorney quantified the incident as more than an innocuous break in.

"The crime was not only egregious, but the police characterization of this as a silly prank is completely inappropriate," said attorney Gregory Victor, who has been retained by the Allen family in the wake of the incident.

Allen had initially rented his Coral Gables home while playing for the Heat, before recently purchasing the home. He entertained his Heat teammates at the home in February in a lavish outdoor Super Bowl party. He was not present at the time of the incident, but reportedly since has returned.

"Miami is our home and we are proud to be active members in this community," Allen said in a statement issued through the Virginia-based sports agency that represents him. "We pray that no one else has to endure this kind of intrusion on their home or their families' safety."

The incident occurred about 2:30 a.m. on Tahiti Beach Island Road. According to Officer Kelly Denham, the young adults who broke into Allen's home--six men and a woman, ages 18 to 19 -- had attended a party next door.

Denham said the seven were found in a home elsewhere in Coral Gables, about two miles away. Each was interviewed by police and offered consistent stories: They were curious about Allen's home and didn't think anyone was inside.

However, after charges were not immediately filed, with no forced entry determined, the Allen family and their attorney issued statements, with the incident initially quantified as misdemeanor trespassing.

The statement issued from Ray Allen read:

"We want to correct the erroneous information being reported about the crime committed in our home this week. On Thursday morning at 2:30 a.m., my wife Shannon was awakened by loud voices in our bedroom where she had been sleeping with our four young children. She heard male voices loudly discussing our personal property and sat up in a state of alarm to find at least five people inside our bedroom with large flashlights. She was immediately fearful for the safety of her own life, but more importantly the lives of our young children. When she screamed at them, the intruders quickly fled the scene and laughter was heard as they made their way out of our bedroom, down the stairs and out of our house.

"As these individuals were fleeing our house, Shannon immediately called security and the police for help.

"Shannon and I believe that a number of the public statements made through media outlets have mischaracterized certain important facts and what we believe to be the seriousness of this potentially devastating invasion upon our lives, home and family. The suggestion that anyone can unlawfully enter into someone's locked home and then into an occupied bedroom in the middle of the night without consequences is unsettling, regardless of the stated or actual reason for such unlawful entry. We are very fortunate that no one involved was physically harmed during this ordeal. Miami is our home and we are proud to be active members in this community. We pray that no one else has to endure this kind of intrusion on their home or their families' safety. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own homes.

"We have hired attorney Gregory Victor for representation in this matter."

The statement from Victor read:

"A serious crime was committed under Florida law. A large number of young adults knowingly broke into Mr. and Mrs. Allen's locked home on Thursday, August 14 at 2:30 a.m. and absolutely terrified their family. The crime was not only egregious, but the police characterization of this as a silly prank is completely inappropriate. Every family deserves privacy and to feel safe in their own home. This violation of the Allen family was offensive. The reported intentions of these perpetrators as being simply voyeuristic in nature does not justify their conduct nor excuse them from the reasonable consequences of their reprehensible actions.

"We plan to meet with authorities promptly in order to seek the appropriate intervention of the criminal justice system and discuss the specific actions to be taken so that such unlawful conduct is not ignored and tolerated."

Allen previously told the Sun Sentinel that his preference was to determine his playing future close to the late-September start of NBA training camps. While he has played the past two seasons with the Heat, contributing to the team's 2013 NBA championship, he has been linked to a possible contract with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. James, Allen's Miami teammate the past two seasons, signed in July with his hometown Cavaliers as a free agent.

(c)2014 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services


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