Former star Williams tasered, taken to hospital

NEW YORK – Jayson Williams was stunned with a Taser by police in his swank hotel suite yesterday after the reportedly suicidal ex-NBA star resisted attempts by officers to take him to a hospital. Police were called to the hotel in lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City around 4 a.m. when a female friend reported the former New Jersey Nets player was acting suicidal. When officers arrived, the 6-foot-10, 325-pound Williams appeared drunk and agitated, police said. There were empty bottles of prescription drugs strewn around his disheveled hotel suite and several suicide notes. Officers with the Emergency Services Unit, an elite team trained to deal with emotionally disturbed people, responded and stunned Williams with a Taser after he resisted attempts to be hospitalized. It’s the latest in a series of public troubles for the 41-year-old former NBA All-Star, who played nine seasons with the Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers before retiring in 2000. He was convicted in 2004 of trying to cover up the shooting death of his hired driver Costas ‘Gus’ Christofi at his mansion in Alexandria Township, N.J., in February 2002. He was acquitted of aggravated manslaughter, but the jury deadlocked on a reckless manslaughter count. A retrial is pending and he has been free on bail since the shooting. Williams’ wife filed divorce papers this year claiming he was abusive, adulterous and had a drug problem. Proceedings continue. Williams’ manager told the Daily News of New York outside a Manhattan hospital that the athlete was on the mend. ‘Jayson is doing fine. He said he was fine,’ Akhtar Farzaie told the newspaper. ‘All of us are here to be by his side as friends.’ Williams graduated from New York City’s Christ the King High School, one of the country’s biggest producers of college and pro basketball stars. He was a first-round pick in the 1990 NBA draft and went on to become a valuable Nets star. He was named an All-Star and ranked second in the NBA for the 1997-1998 with 13 rebounds per game and a league-high 443 offensive rebounds. An injury forced career-ending surgery in 2000.