Former NBA player helps police nab suspect

Former NBA player helps police nab suspect »Play Video
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The families of former NFL defensive back Anthony Newman and former NBA guard Terrell Brandon were the victims of an extortion attempt, the Portland Police Bureau said.
     
Bobby Hayes, 41, was charged with theft by extortion and attempted theft by extortion. Police suspect he wrote threatening letters demanding $10,000 from the families of Newman and Brandon, according to court papers.
     
One of the letters arrived early last week at the home of Newman's 65-year-old mother. It was addressed to "NFL Mom."
     
"U don't know me, but I know U," it read. "I want 10K in cash in a black bag set next to your garage door Friday night. If you tell the police and try to be a hero you will be responsible for the murder of your whole family."
     
Brandon, meanwhile, took matters into his own hands. He and a friend, Timothy Upshaw, followed the instructions in a similar letter and a placed a black bag outside last Friday night.
     
Upshaw told police he saw a man arrive alone by car and grab the bag out of the bushes. When the stranger opened the bag and saw a $1 bill on top of a stack of plain paper, Upshaw told police he overheard him say, "What the (expletive) is this?"
     
Police say Upshaw confronted the man, who ran. A northeast Portland resident later called 911, saying he heard some men on the street "talking about killing" someone.
     
When officers arrived, Upshaw and Brandon were with Hayes. Officers handcuffed everyone before learning about the alleged extortion, Portland police spokesman Sgt. Brian Schmautz said.
     
Hayes was taken into custody, but later released after posting 10 percent of his $25,000 bail. The court ordered him to have no contact with the Newman and Brandon families.
     
Brandon, 37, retired from the NBA in 2004 and operates a barbershop in northeast Portland. Newman, 42, played 12 seasons in the NFL and now operates Anthony Newman Extreme Sports Camps for youth.
     
"It was terrible for my mother, and my wife and kids," Newman told The Oregonian on Thursday. "Everyday I had to look over my shoulder and worry if someone is going to do something. It's been a tough week for my family."
     
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)