He committed his most flagrant fouls off the court.
An American professional basketball player, a prized import who led the Rain or Shine team to a Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) crown last year, was thrown into jail early Wednesday for insulting and attacking a team of policemen who came to arrest him for causing a disturbance at a Quezon City hotel.
Out of the 10 policemen who rushed to the hotel, one was reportedly knocked unconscious by a punch from the 6’5” Jamelle Cornley, 25.
Before the arrest, police said, Cornley went on a drunken rampage at Sir William’s Hotel on Timog Avenue in Barangay South Triangle around 6 a.m. This was after three female companions with whom he had earlier checked in allegedly stole his wallet containing his “savings” worth $1,400.
He broke a large vase at the lobby, a desktop computer on the front desk and the glass doors of the in-house Baia Luna videoke bar.
Alerted by the hotel management, around 10 members of the Quezon City Police District’s Kamuning station were sent to arrest him for disturbing the peace and malicious mischief.
Seeing the officers, Cornley began the second-half of his violent streak.
He allegedly resisted arrest and let loose a mouthful at a team led by the station commander, Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo.
Before he was subdued and handcuffed by Pedrozo’s men, the American allegedly threw a punch and knocked out PO2 Anselmo Lasatin, who had to be taken to East Avenue Hospital for treatment.
Once at the Kamuning station, it required 10 more men to drag Cornley into the detention cell.
“I was trying to get his side and help him because he said he was a victim of theft. But he kept on insulting me and would neither cooperate nor file a report on the incident,” Pedrozo later said in an interview.
Speaking to the INQUIRER, Cornley said it all started when he met three female friends as he came out of a bar on Timog Avenue before dawn Wednesday. He said it was the three women’s idea for them to check in at Sir William’s.
“After we had a nice time, I gave them a few P1,000 bills and $100 just as they were leaving. I hit the shower but when I came out, the wallet I placed under my pillow was gone,” he said.
He said the wallet still had $1,400 in it, which he had saved up from his earnings playing in the PBA.
He asked the hotel staff members for the identities of the three women. The employees denied knowing them by name but said they were “regulars” in the hotel.
“I was angry and tipped over a vase,” Cornley said, adding that it was at that time that the policemen arrived.
He recalled that one of the policemen—later identified as Lasatin—tried to pacify him but he was still raging over his stolen money.
“I told him (Lasatin) ‘Don’t you touch me. Don’t you f—ing touch me.’ I told him that 10 times I think. But he did not listen. I shoved him to the floor but he acted as if I had hit him. I saw him lift his head several times and take a peek. When everybody was looking and bringing him to the hospital, he pretended to be knocked out,” Cornley said.
He maintained that it was his first time to be in trouble with the police but that it was the least of his concerns.
“I am concerned about losing the money I painstakingly saved. What is embarrassing is what I should tell my mother about this,” he said, adding that he was scheduled to fly home to Columbus, Ohio, on Easter Sunday.
Cornley’s case was turned over to the QCPD Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) since the complaints against him also involved members of the Kamuning station.
Sir William’s Hotel was also set to sue him for destroying property worth P40,000.
Currently residing in Ortigas, Pasig City, Cornley earlier played for the Nittany Lions of Pennsylvania State University and also saw hardcourt action in France, Israel and Argentina before Rain or Shine Elasto Paint signed him up for the PBA Governor’s Cup last year.