A tale of heroics has quickly devolved into something bizarre — and potentially very sad.
According to both the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register, a police report names a “Josh Shaw” in connection to a possible break-in at an apartment just a few miles from USC’s campus at some point between 10 an 11 p.m. PDT Saturday night. That’s around the same time that a USC cornerback, also named Josh Shaw, was reportedly in the process of saving a seven-year-old nephew from drowning by jumping from a second-floor balcony, sustaining a pair of high-ankle sprains in the process.
That claim, however, has subsequently come under intense scrutiny.
From the Times:
At 10 p.m. Saturday night, officers went to the Orsini Apartments on North Figueroa Street to check on a report of a woman’s screams from a third-floor unit, police said. No one answered the door, so the officers forced entry. No one was inside.
A neighbor reported seeing a man run across or scale a balcony, and gave a general description of the individual.
Later, as officers interviewed a woman resident of the complex, they told her what the one witness had seen. She responded, “Sounds like my boyfriend, Josh Shaw,” according to Lt. Andrew Neiman, an LAPD spokesman. The woman also told the officers Shaw was at dinner with friends, Neiman said.
A man at the front desk of the Orsini Apartments on Tuesday afternoon said Shaw was not a registered resident. The LAPD did not identify the woman in the incident report.
Witnesses described seeing “a ‘black male with dreadlocks’ leaving via a balcony,” the Register wrote. It has not been determined that USC’s Shaw, who is black and has dreadlocks, is the Shaw wanted for questioning in connection to the incident.
“No one has been arrested or named as a suspect,” a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson told the Register. “Mr. Shaw’s name was listed in the report as the victim’s boyfriend only. This is an ongoing investigation.”
Shaw’s sister confirmed to USA Today Tuesday that Shaw had saved her son, the player’s nephew, but that she was not actually at the event the heroics were alleged to have happened. USC is currently in the process of vetting Shaw’s claims.
“He came to us with what occurred Saturday night, and I have no reason, no history to not believe Josh and his story,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “I think it’s important to know your team. I think it’s important to know your players.
“Josh Shaw has been a good leader for us; he’s given me no reason not to believe him. But you need to know.”
Regardless of how it happened, Shaw, a team captain, will be sidelined for a significant period of time because of the injuries to both ankles, which will have a significant impact on the Trojans’ defense on the field. And that’s not even mentioning the off-field distraction and/or circus that will come to town when he does return.