A North Carolina mother is suing the Charlotte Hornets and LaMelo Ball after the team’s star guard allegedly struck her son with his vehicle during an attempt to obtain Ball’s autograph.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday and obtained by ESPN, the alleged incident occurred in early October, when the Hornets hosted a fan-focused event at the Spectrum Center in downtown Charlotte called “Purple and Teal Day at the Hive.”

After attending the event, Tamaria McRae stated that her then-11-year-old son Angell Joseph, who is now 12, stood outside the arena’s employee entrance when Ball’s SUV exited the arena.

Ball stopped at a nearby traffic light, and fans, including Joseph, approached Ball’s vehicle. McRae said Ball looked at her son from his vehicle as Joseph stood next to it and, when the light turned green, alleged that Ball drove “in a grossly negligent and reckless manner in that he accelerated his vehicle forward suddenly and without warning and struck” her son, “severely injuring him.” She claimed that Ball then left the scene.

According to McRae’s attorney, Cameron deBrun, Joseph suffered foot and back injuries in the incident. McRae alleged that the injury caused severe physical pain and emotional distress from a player her son considered his hero.

An incident report from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department that was obtained by ESPN said Joseph suffered bruises and scratches that were described as minor.

The Hornets declined to comment. Ball’s agent didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

McRae is seeking damages in excess of $25,000.


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