Iverson parties while facing jail

Sunday, July 14th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ As he awaited arrest on assault charges, Philadelphia 76ers basketball star Allen Iverson hosted an all-night party at his mansion, where friends and relatives swam and played basketball in the rain.

The $2.4 million house in suburban Gladwyne had been quiet since the charges were filed Thursday alleging that Iverson forced his way into a relative's apartment to look for his wife while armed with a gun. Iverson, 27, is due to turn himself in Tuesday.

The party that started Saturday lasted through the night. Photographs taken by The Associated Press show Iverson in a heated discussion with an unidentified woman on the front step just before 5 a.m. Sunday, as the party was breaking up.

Police, who have ordered Iverson to remain at home until his arrest, kept tabs on the gathering from outside the front gate but took no action. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson has said police would arrest Iverson if he was seen ``on the street or out partying.''

Philadelphia police did not return a call Sunday seeking comment.

Prosecutors say that on July 3, Iverson pushed his way into his cousin's apartment, threatened two men and demanded that they tell him where he could find his wife. Iverson had allegedly thrown her out of the house naked.

Iverson is charged with trespassing, assault, making threats, unlawful restraint and carrying a gun without a license. Police ordered him to remain at home until Tuesday so his lawyer could return from vacation to defend him.

Police have said Tawanna Iverson, 26, had checked into a hotel on July 1. She and the couple's two children have been seen at the estate since the incident. The Iversons married on Aug. 3.

Philadelphia police filed warrants for Iverson's arrest on the same day they searched the mansion and towed off a Cadillac SUV, in which they found broken glass, rocks and blood. Police haven't said whose blood they found.

Meanwhile, unidentified sources told The New York Times for Sunday's editions that Iverson's contract with the team wouldn't be guaranteed if he were convicted of a felony. Iverson has $40.5 million and three years left on a $70.8 million extension signed in January 1999.

Sixers spokeswoman Karen Frascona refused to confirm the report Sunday. Frascona said the team would have no comment while the police investigation continues.

Police have been stationed outside the star's mansion for days, directing traffic from fans and news media on the leafy, usually quiet street.