Police: Thomas tried to cover up incident

Published 11:24 pm Saturday, October 25, 2008

A suburban police chief likened the conflicting accounts of an accidental overdose at Isiah Thomas’ home to a ‘‘cover-up’’ and rebuked the former New York Knicks coach Saturday for saying it was his teenage daughter who required treatment.

‘‘It wasn’t his daughter,’’ Harrison Police Chief David Hall told The Associated Press. ‘‘And why they’re throwing her under the bus is beyond my ability to understand.’’

Authorities were called early Friday to Thomas’ Westchester County home, where police said a 47-year-old man was taken to the hospital and treated for an overdose of sleeping pills. Several media outlets reported that police confirmed it was Thomas who went to the hospital.

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But reached on his cell phone Friday, the 47-year-old NBA great told the New York Post he had not been treated for a sleeping pill overdose, and that it was 17-year-old daughter Lauren who had a medical issue.

It ‘‘wasn’t an overdose,’’ he told the newspaper. ‘‘My daughter is very down right now. None of us are OK.’’

Hall forcefully refuted Thomas’ statement.

‘‘My cops … know the difference between a 47-year-old black male and a young black female,’’ Hall said.

‘‘These people should learn something from Richard Nixon — it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up,’’ he added.

Voice mails and text messages from the AP were left on Thomas’ cell phone Saturday. Messages left earlier with Thomas’ publicist and two of his attorneys were not returned.

No suicide note was found, and police were classifying the case as an ‘‘accidental drug overdose’’ on ‘‘a number’’ of prescription sleeping pills, Hall said.

Hall would not confirm the identity of the hospitalized man.

Thomas’ 20-year-old son, Joshua, also said it was his sister, not his father, who required treatment.

‘‘He’s fine,’’ the Indiana University student told the