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Matt Barnes and the Law: Who's Right and What Came First?

The Redondo Beach resident finds himself embroiled in a cop caper, however, surveillance video may hold key to prosecuting him on suspicion of threatening a police officer.

Surveillance footage from a Shellback Tavern camera may reveal some of what transpired between former Los Angeles Laker Matt Barnes and Manhattan Beach police officers Monday night when the NBA free agent was arrested, Bob Beverly, owner of Shellback, told the Beach Reporter.

Barnes, who was being taken into custody on an outstanding misdemeanor traffic warrant, allegedly threatened the officer who contacted him.

The district attorney's office will have to sort through conflicting information to determine if sufficient evidence exists to prosecute Barnes.

Beverly claims that police were waiting for Barnes, who usually comes to town for the Charlie Saikley 6-Man Beach Volleyball Tournament, which was to begin the next morning (Tuesday), according to the Beach Reporter.

Barnes' agent Aaron Goodwin agrees, telling the Beach Reporter that the arresting officer has had it in for Barnes after a mid-May incident between the on-duty officer and Barnes. Goodwin claims the officer waited nearly two hours Monday night after first catching sight of Barnes in MB before locating him again for the arrest.

MBPD's Lt. Steve Tobias says that Goodwin's account is not true, the paper reported.

Another wrinkle the D.A. will need to address is conflicting information on the status of Barnes' driver's license and court appearances. The Daily Breeze reports that California Department of Motor Vehicles records show, according to a clerk, that Barnes' license is valid. The DMV also said that two previous failures to appear in court and the subsequent license suspensions had expired.

After posting $51,000 bond, $26,000 for the traffic warrant and $25,000 for the potential felony charge of threatening an officer, Barnes apparently messaged the following via Twitter at 1:09 a.m. Tuesday:

"Funny how a small situation turns into a "Urban Legend".. A $26,000 traffic ticket?? Come on now smh.. [shake my head] Have a good night," followed by "Oh.. For all you perfect people out there looking at me w/your nose in the air, who have "NEVER" missed a court date for a "TRAFFIC VIOLATION" God Bless You..."

Barnes, who lives in Redondo Beach, is scheduled to appear in Torrance Court on Oct. 1.

The 6-foot-7-inch forward, who is not expected to return to the Lakers, was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2002 after playing for UCLA. In 2010, he signed a two-year, $3.6 million contract with the Lakers. 

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Always Right August 01, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Matt Barnes is nothing but a thug and a liar. That is being kind. He is a washed up professional basketball player with a huge chip on his shoulder. What a great legacy!!! His parents must be so proud. This is not his first run in with law enforcement. This time, I hope he goes to jail. He won't, but I sure wish he would.

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