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Wife of Knicks star charged in road rage incident

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A few weeks ago, Kendra Davis made headlines for her involvement in a scuffle at the Bulls game. Now the wife of New York Knicks star Antonio Davis is implicated in an alleged case of road rage.

A warrant was issued Thursday for her arrest in connection with the incident. The altercation started at an intersection in west suburban Naperville and, according to Naperville police, involved a racial slur and a hot cup of coffee.

The traffic altercation took place on October 27, almost three months before the infamous incident at the United Center. Like the altercation during the Bulls game, during the Naperville traffic spat Kendra Davis tangled with a perfect stranger, said she was provoked and refused to apologize. But unlike the televised frenzy in the stands as her husband played basketball, this case has ended up with criminal charges.

Kendra Davis arrived at Naperville Police Headquarters Thursday afternoon to surrender on the two charges lodged against her earlier in the day. She was processed by police on the arrest warrant. Davis posted $500 cash bond and was released.

A DuPage County judge signed the warrant early Thursday morning alleging that Davis "threw a cup of hot coffee" at a motorist, Kathleen Bessner. Bessner, a resident of southwest suburban Minooka, came to DuPage court Thursday morning, with a Naperville patrolman, to swear out a criminal complaint against the wife of the NBA star, Antonio Davis.

The alleged road rage incident occurred last October, at an intersection about a mile from Kendra Davis' home. Davis was driving a late model Mercedes. Bessner was in her family's mini van.

According to the police report obtained, Bessner told authorities that she was cut off by the silver Mercedes driven by Davis, who then threw a cup of coffee into her open car window and sped away. Davis admitted to police that she threw the coffee, but she told authorities that Bessner had shouted foul words and hateful words at her and described a racial slur that Bessner allegedly used.

Bessner declined to speak to the I-Team on camera, but maintains that she used no derogatory terms and did not incite the violence.

Kendra Davis also declined to say anything at the police station, but her lawyer did talk.

"She is very upset about this, understandably, and we're contesting the matters to the full extent of the law," said James Marcus, Kendra Davis lawyer.

This is the second time recently that Kendra Davis has made news. It was last month that Davis had a verbal altercation with a fan at a Knicks-Bulls game at the United Center. Seeing the altercation, her husband, a former Bull now on the New York Knicks, ran up into the stands to check on the situation. He received a five-game suspension.

"She contacted me the day after the basketball game when the Knicks were at the United Center. That was the first time I was aware of the situation. She wanted to file charges against Kendra Davis," said Joel Trumper, Naperville police, media affairs.

The alleged victim in this matter, Bessner, denies that her filing of criminal charges was linked in any way to what happened in the United Center, claims that she wanted to lodge a criminal complaint from the moment the coffee was thrown, but that Naperville police did not enable her to do so until Thursday.

The ABC7 I-Team has learned that there have been other problems for Davis dating back more than a decade.

Brenda Miles and her family were in a car crash with Kendra Davis, then Kendra Meeks, before she was married to the NBA star. Kendra ran a stop sign in Aurora, according to authorities, and collided with the Miles' mini van, injuring several family members inside.

They won a civil suit against Davis, who was ordered to pay them $11,000. But even though Davis now lives in a plush suburban home, is married to a millionaire NBA star and they have five cars including a Bentley, 11 years later, the Miles family is still waiting for most of the money to be paid.

"I'm just hoping to get this taken care of, believe me," said Miles.

Because she has never satisfied that court judgment, Davis' Illinois driver's license has been suspended. In 1993, she was ticketed for driving on a suspended license.

Kendra Davis' husband Antonio has not weighed in on the latest fracas. The couple lives in Naperville even though he was traded.

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