Hostage situation ends peacefully at home of NBA player Marcus Camby's mother

Monday, April 23rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. (AP) _ NBA player Marcus Camby's mother and two sisters were taken hostage at their home early Monday by a man with a knife, but a standoff with police ended hours later with a suspect in custody.

One of Camby's sisters had minor injuries, police said.

Authorities identified the man in custody as Troy Crooms of Hartford and said he surrendered peacefully. There was no immediate word on charges.

The family knew the assailant, said Sgt. Matthew Reed.

Police went to the home of Camby's mother, Janice Camby, in an affluent neighborhood at about 3:30 a.m. after receiving a domestic disturbance complaint, Reed said.

The first officers at the scene found a man holding a knife to Monica Camby's throat, Reed said.

They saw blood on Monica Camby, but said the injuries did not appear serious or life-threatening, Reed said.

Authorities said Camby's mother and another sister, Mia, were rescued, but the timing and circumstances were not immediately clear.

The officers left the house at the assailant's demand, but remained in contact with him.

A police negotiator entered the house around midmorning. He later left the house but remained in touch by telephone, Reed said.

Camby, a 6-foot-11 center for the New York Knicks, arrived shortly before 8 a.m. The assailant demanded to talk to Camby and the athlete approached the house but did not enter or speak to the man inside.

Marcus Camby bought the house for his mother in 1996.

He admitted accepting improper gifts while playing for the University of Massachusetts, prompting the National Collegiate Athletic Association to strip the university of its 1996 regional championship. The NCAA also ordered the university to return the money it earned by making it to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament.

Camby turned professional that year and was the second player selected in the NBA draft.

He was arrested in South Windsor on a charge of marijuana possession in 1997, and agreed to perform 16 hours of community service to avoid prosecution.