Rehab Patient Says Boxing Champ Floored Him

     LITTLE ROCK (CN) – Former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor punched a fellow rehab patient in the face and knocked him out as the man tried to high-five him, the surprised housemate claims in court.
     Jason Condon, 40, sued Jermain Taylor, Recovery Centers of Arkansas dba Oasis Renewal Center, and Arch Insurance Co. on Feb. 16 in Pulaski County Court.
     Taylor, 37, was twice a middleweight champion, according to Condon’s complaint. Once a rising star, Taylor’s career has been overshadowed in recent months by a string of gun-related incidents, including threatening to kill a family at a Martin Luther King parade in 2015.
     That episode is the subject of a $2.5 million lawsuit against Taylor and six felony charges, to which he recently pleaded guilty. He also pleaded guilty to battery and the aggravated assault of his cousin, who was shot in August 2014.
     Taylor’s legal troubles caused the International Boxing Association to strip him of his title in February last year due to his inability to defend it while undergoing a court-ordered psychological evaluation.
     In March 2015, Taylor was in rehab at Oasis Renewal Center, where he shared a cabin and common areas with other residents, including Condon. Condon had been arrested on drug charges and checked himself into the Little Rock substance abuse center on May 11, 2015.
     Condon says that on May 13 after eating dinner in the cafeteria he walked backed to his cabin where he encountered the professional boxer.
     “Jason remembers saying, ‘What’s up, JT?’ and sticking out his hand for a high five style pat. Instead of a high five, Jason was punched in the face, and attacked by Mr. Taylor. Jason was knocked unconscious,” the complaint states.
     “Another resident at Oasis was nearby at the time of the attack, and came out of his room to find Mr. Taylor standing over Jason. After some delay for reasons unknown, Mr. Condon was placed in an Oasis facility van and driven to Baptist Hospital Emergency Room in Little Rock.”
     Condon was diagnosed with numerous facial fractures, a concussion and significant bruising, requiring surgery. It took three metal plates and nine screws to secure the fractures, which will remain permanently in his face, according to the complaint.
     “Recovery Centers of Arkansas was aware of the pending criminal allegations against Mr. Taylor, the violent nature of those allegations, and his history as a world class boxer. Recovery Centers of Arkansas also had other knowledge of Taylor’s condition and propensities,” Condon says in the lawsuit.
     The rehab center’s executive director declined to comment on the lawsuit when reached by phone Wednesday afternoon.
     Taylor pleaded guilty in December to battery stemming from his attack on Condon. The second-degree felony is punishable by up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine, according to a plea statement filed in Pulaski County Court.
     Judge Leon Johnson released the boxer on bond and allowed him to train in Florida under supervision, according to media reports.
     Taylor faces up to 54 years in prison when the judge sentences him April 19 on all nine felony charges in the three criminal cases against him.
     Condon seeks punitive damages for negligence, assault, battery and outrage.
     He is represented by Will Bond with McMath Woods of Little Rock.

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