Police: Ex-Bull Rick Brunson used name ‘Patrick Ewing’ to book massage that brought sex charges
BY RICK KAMBIC firstname.lastname@example.org | @rick_kambic July 8, 2014 9:12PM
Updated: July 10, 2014 12:30PM
After a masseuse told Rick Brunson to stop requesting her services, the former Chicago Bulls player and coach used the name “Patrick Ewing” to book another appointment, according to the police report obtained Tuesday.
A confrontation during that appointment resulted in a series of sex-based criminal charges against Brunson, who is accused of touching the masseuse inappropriately, police said.
Brunson, 42, of Vernon Hills, was charged on June 25 with sexual abuse, attempted sexual assault and three counts of battery in connection with the April 2 appointment at the Lifetime Fitness in Vernon Hills.
Police initially refused to provide details of the arrest, saying they wanted to protect the masseuse, but numerous police reports were released under Freedom of Information Act requests.
Those reports show that Brunson had 19 massages at the Lifetime Fitness facility beginning in December 2011, seven of which were scheduled with the masseuse. Brunson’s last appointment was on Aug. 21, 2013, when the masseuse told him to stop requesting her.
Brunson declined to comment on the matter.
According to the police reports, he booked the April 2 appointment under the name “Patrick Ewing,” a former star with the New York Knicks, and took the woman by surprise when he arrived and removed his clothes.
The woman told police she initially protested at giving him a massage but agreed to begin a standard 60-minute session because he had already undressed and used one of her appointment slots.
Police say Brunson touched the masseuse, but specifics were not released. The woman’s bra was collected for possible DNA evidence.
The police reports note that throughout the monthlong investigation, the woman continued to feel pain but said she didn’t see a doctor because she didn’t have medical insurance.
After the alleged incident, Brunson called the woman several times, according to the police reports.
Lifetime Fitness called Brunson on April 9 to inform him that his membership was terminated because of the incident, according to police reports.
A caller from a restricted number dialed the woman’s cellphone at 5:49 p.m. that day, and again at 7:31 p.m., according to police reports. A caller from a phone number the woman knew to be Brunson’s dialed her at 11:31 p.m.
The woman told police that she has Brunson’s phone number because she had been to his house to massage his son. The report did not specify his son’s name, but a coaching bio on NBA.com, from Brunson’s 2012 hire as an assistant coach with the Bulls, indicates that Brunson has only one son, Jalen.
Jalen, who plays for Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, is ranked as the nation’s top high school point guard, according to ESPN. Jalen also was a significant contributor on Team USA, which recently won the gold medal in the FIBA Americas-sanctioned under-18 basketball championships.
Brunson returned a call to police on April 14, according to a police report, and accused the masseuse of making numerous false allegations in the past. The phone call was not recorded because of a glitch, and other details from the conversation were redacted from the police report.
Police also were involved in a dispute between Brunson and the woman last year, according to the police reports, but information about the context of the dispute was not revealed. Brunson and the woman later resolved the situation without police, and the situation did not involve sexual accusations, the reports said.
Charges against Brunson were approved by the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office on June 24, and Vernon Hills police arrested him at his home the next day. Brunson’s attorney, Michael Zaslavsky, later told police they could not speak to Brunson and could not take a DNA sample.
Brunson is expected in court Thursday, according to the state’s attorney’s office.