“What should I tell mum?”
This was the paramount worry of the American professional basketball player Jamelle Cornley, who was thrown into jail early on Holy Wednesday for attacking and insulting a team of policemen, who came to arrest him for causing a disturbance in a Quezon City hotel.
The 25-year-old Cornley, a prized import who led the Rain or Shine team to a Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) crown last year, went berserk at Sir William’s Hotel, on the city’s Timog Avenue in Barangay South Triangle, after three female companions with whom he had earlier checked in stole his wallet.
Radio reports quoted Cornley as saying that he had a nice time at a hotel room with the three ladies whom he met when he came out of a bar on Timog Avenue before dawn. He gave them money as they left, then he went into the shower. When he came out, he discovered that his wallet placed under a pillow was gone.
Cornley, who stands 6-foot-5, added that his wallet contained $1,400, which he had saved up from his earnings playing for the PBA.
Ten members of Metro Manila’s Kamuning station of QCPD, or Quezon City Police District, responded to the hotel management call for assistance after Cornley broke a large vase at the lobby, a desktop computer at the front desk and the glass doors of the in-house Baia Luna karaoke bar.
Cornley was subdued and handcuffed by the responding cops, led by Superintendent Marcelino Pedrozo, but not before resisting arrest and hurling invectives at them. He had also punched and knocked out Police Officer 2 Anselmo Lasatin, who had tried to pacify him. Lasatin was taken to East Avenue Hospital for treatment.
When the PBA import was finally taken to the Kamuning station, 10 more cops were needed to drag him into the detention cell.
His case was turned over to the QCPD Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit. Besides complaints from members of the Kamuning police station, Cornley is also facing charges from Sir William’s Hotel for disturbance and destruction of property.
Cornley, who was scheduled to fly home to Columbus, Ohio tomorrow, Easter Sunday, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Thursday that being in trouble with the police for the first time was the least of his worries.
“I am concerned about losing the money I painstakingly saved,” he said. “What is embarrassing is what I should tell my mother about this.”
Before singing up with Rain or Shine Elasto Paint for the PBA Governor’s Cup last year, Cornley played for the Nittany Lions of Pennsylvania State University. He had also played in France, Israel and Argentina.