Basketball Brawler – Prosecution Presents Evidence Against Perris Resident for Basketball Game Threats 

Connor Forbes
Connor Forbes
5 Min Read
CalhounThe man identified as suspect Thaddis Lamont Brooks, (in blue) is wrestled away from the conflict. He is accused of inflaming the incident by punching several female high school athletes, before allegedly threatening students with a gun in the Centennial parking lot. NFHS

Basketball Brawler

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Prosecution testimony is expected to conclude by early next week in the trial of a convicted felon accused of punching female athletes, and later threatening other students with a gun during and after a girls basketball game at Centennial High last year.

Thaddis Lamont Brooks, 40, of Perris was arrested a year ago following a Corona Police Department investigation.

Brooks is charged with four counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, three counts of battery, two counts each of making criminal threats and brandishing a gun, and one count each of possession of a firearm on school grounds, witness intimidation and being a felon in possession of a gun.

The prosecution opened its case-in-chief last week at the Riverside Hall of Justice and has summoned multiple witnesses. The final witness may be called as early as Friday or Monday.

Brooks is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail.

According to the prosecution’s trial brief, Brooks was with his girlfriend in the stands of Centennial High School’s gym on the evening of Jan. 24, 2023, watching the woman’s daughter, Aniayah Offutt, play for the Huskies in a game against the Santiago High School Sharks.

During the final two minutes of the fourth quarter, a scuffle broke out between the two teams’ players, and Offutt was in the fray, the brief said.

“The defendant ran down the bleachers and onto the court, wherein he assaulted several of the female players,” court papers said.

The girls were identified only by their initials — “J.C.,” “M.F.” and “Q.R.”

Coaches, parents and others crowded onto the basketball court to stop the fight and pull Brooks away from the girls. One man bear-hugged the defendant and applied “all of his strength” just to move him back, the brief said.

Brooks allegedly yelled at the intervener that he would “blow this (expletive) up” if he continued to put his hands on him, at which point he stormed out of the gym, according to the narrative.

Campus officials ordered a halt to the game and cleared the gym, and athletes and attendees filed out. Brooks went to his vehicle and retrieved a handgun, Corona police Sgt. Jason Waldon alleged.

As a group of girls and one of their mothers began walking into the parking area, they conversed about what had happened and expressed shock over Brooks’ behavior, though they didn’t know him, prosecutors said.

“They looked up to see the same man they were talking about pointing a gun at them,” the brief said.

Brooks allegedly said aloud, “Everyone better clear this parking lot because I’m about to light this place up,” according to the brief.

The victims, identified as “C.E.,” “M.H.,” “R.E.” and “S.H.,” ran to a nearby car, whose motorist allowed them in and drove them away from the gym, court papers said.

One of the victims, M.H., realized later that she knew the defendant and was among his past social media contacts. Prosecutors alleged Brooks called the woman and made several threats, blaming her for his girlfriend’s daughter’s dismissal from the basketball squad.

No one was injured during the scuffle on the court, or during the alleged encounters with the defendant in the parking lot.

Police officers responded to 911 calls made from the gym but didn’t make any arrests. Detectives contacted witnesses and obtained additional evidence, pointing to Brooks as the alleged assailant, according to Waldon.

He said a search warrant was obtained and served at the defendant’s residence on Chamberlain Creek Way, where officers took him into custody without incident a week later.

Court records show Brooks has felony convictions in San Bernardino County for battery, street gang activity, making criminal threats and possession of controlled substances.

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