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December 7, 2021

US basketball player was victim of group assault, medical sources say

Doctors’ statements and the preliminary autopsy report confirm that US basketball player Chauncey Hardy, who died last week, was the victim of a group assault, according to daily ‘Jurnalul National.’ However, prosecutors so far have detained a single suspect in the case, Ionut Tanasoaia. Hardy died at Bagdasar-Arseni Hospital in Bucharest after being beaten up in a Giurgiu club. The suspect claims he only hit the basketball player once and that Hardy died after he fell and hit his head on the pavement. The American basketball player was rushed to the Giurgiu County Emergency Hospital and from there to the capital. His death triggered several investigations, including one at the Giurgiu Hospital, which concluded that the doctors on duty that night did not do their job properly. The doctors will be fined, along with the hospital and the ambulance doctor who refused to accompany Hardy to Bucharest. The doctor who operated on Hardy at Bagdasar-Arseni, Sorin Craciunas, told ‘Jurnalul National’ that the player had multiple trauma and lesions which could not have been caused only by a punch in the face and a fall, as Tanasoaia claims. The manager of the Giurgiu Hospital, Mihai Petre, has the same opinion, according to the newspaper. And medical sources quoted by the publication said the same theory emerges from the autopsy report. In this context, it is illogical that the prosecutors handling the case have a single suspect, the publication writes, saying that this looks like a cover-up meant to protect other people involved.

Tanasoaia, currently in preventive custody for 29 days, is known for his close ties with Giurgiu underworld clan Butoane, led by Octavian Grecu. The newspaper suggests that Hardy was actually beaten up by several members of the clan. Another central newspaper, ‘Adevarul,’ writes that prosecutors are actually looking at several other suspects in the case, but are waiting to gather evidence before making an arrest. One of the theories they have is that the player was hit more than once or by more people. Moreover, investigators do not rule out the possibility that the attack is actually the work of one of Grecu’s sons and that Tana­soa­ia was paid to take the deed upon himself, the newspaper said.

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