New details emerge in Auston Matthews' case as woman's interview with cops released
Woman may not have pressed charges if player's family had taken allegations more seriously
The woman pressing a charge against Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews says she may not have done so if her description of events was taken more seriously by the NHL player's family.
In a body-cam video of a police interview released by Scottsdale Police, security guard Fayola Dozithee says she had heard Matthews' father Brian was skeptical about the alleged incident in May in the player's Arizona hometown.
None of the allegations have been proven in court. Attempts to reach Brian Matthews by The Canadian Press were unsuccessful.
Matthews' lawyer and agent didn't immediately respond to interview requests. Dozithee also didn't respond to a request.
Matthews, 22, faces a charge of disorderly conduct and disruptive behaviour. Dozithee says she was sitting in her locked car when a group of men, including Matthews, allegedly tried to get inside the vehicle on May 26 outside the player's condominium.
Matthews was again the centre of attention as the Leafs prepared to travel to Detroit for a pre-season game on Friday, though he is not scheduled to be in the lineup.
"Like I said the other night, I've still got to come to work and do my job, and do it well," Matthews said. "I've got to come to the rink, work hard and try to push that stuff aside and focus on my play on the ice."
When asked if that has been difficult, Matthews said, "It hasn't been easy, but it's something that I think I'm learning from and growing from."
In the interview, Dozithee said she had no intention of going to the cops until the condo manager told her Brian denied her version of the events.
"Now, it's going to be my goal to show you that 'no, your son did do this,"' Dozithee said in the police interview.
'An error in judgement'
In the police report, Dozithee said she confronted the group, who she believed to be intoxicated, and during that interaction Matthews withdrew from the conversation and dropped his pants and grabbed his buttocks.
The security guard said Matthews, then 21 years old, kept his underwear on.
Matthews was not arrested.
WATCH | Matthews makes statement on disorderly conduct charge:
News of the charge broke on Tuesday. Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said he learned about the charge on Tuesday when looking at Twitter.
Matthews says he believes his relationship with Dubas is fine.
"I think we're in good shape," he said. "Obviously I made a mistake. I'm taking ownership of it, but everybody makes mistakes."
Matthews has been considered one of the leading candidates to be captain of the team. The Leafs have said they will name a captain this season after going without one since trading Dion Phaneuf in February 2016.
Matthews says the Leafs have many leaders.
"We've all started out together," he said. "Five, six guys started out three, four years ago. We've all grown together over the last couple years. I think everybody wants to take steps forward in that area. We've got a lot of guys in the room that can lead, and that lead by example."
Dubas equally bothered by alleged incident
The centre said in his statement earlier Wednesday that he regrets "any of my actions that would ever put a distraction on the team or distress any individual."
Dubas said he's equally bothered by the alleged incident, and that he was left in the dark.
"Both are disappointing and will be addressed, and we'll roll from there," said the GM. "You don't like ever for there to be any situations, and then when [there are], I think you want to know about them as soon as possible."
Dubas declined to say what if any impact the situation will have on the captaincy question.
A pre-trial conference was held in Arizona on Wednesday. The City of Scottsdale's website lists the next court date as Oct. 22.
Leafs coach Mike Babcock says Matthews won't be the first or last person to have to deal with a challenge.
"The bottom line is, there's lots of things that happen to you in your life that aren't particularly good. Happens to all of us," Babcock said.
"It's what you do about it after, it's how you respond. I think that's the key to all this stuff. The problem for anybody in the spotlight [is] your life happens in the spotlight. You'd like it not to sometimes, but other times you like it to be. So you can't have both. It's the way it is."