ABC11 Investigates

More details uncovered in controversy surrounding P.J. Hairston

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The ABC11 I-Team has uncovered new details in an incident involving UNC basketball star P.J. Hairston.

Hairston was arrested by Durham police in June following a stop at a license check. Hairston, 20, was charged with driving without a license. He, along with two other men, Mykael Faulcon and Carlos Sanford, were also charged with possession of marijuana.

Authorities also said a 9mm handgun was found on the ground outside Hairston's vehicle during the stop. Forensic testing is currently being done on the weapon, according to police.

Plastic baggies, a magazine with nine rounds of ammunition, cigars, and a rental agreement for the 2013 GMC Yukon were also seized from the vehicle, according to a police report.

The luxury SUV Hairston was driving was rented by Haydn Patrick "Fats" Thomas. Thomas told ABC11 he did not rent the car for the UNC athlete, but loaned it to Faulcon.

Right now, there appears to be no NCAA investigation of Thomas. The scandal has UNC, including its head basketball coach, tightlipped.

"We're not rushing to judgment," said UNC Basketball Head Coach Roy Williams when ABC11 caught up with him on a sidewalk Tuesday. "For two months, I've been saying I'll make a statement when facts are in. The facts aren't in."

Click here to watch Williams

However, new details keep emerging.

A video of Hairston and Faulcon riding in a vehicle was posted on a social media website. A Camaro symbol is embroidered on the car seat in video. It's unclear whether it's the same Camaro that Hairston was driving when he was issued a speeding ticket back in May.

Thomas has a criminal history, including pending drug charges, which he admits to.

"I was caught, prosecuted and convicted," said Thomas. "I did my punishment. Shouldn't I be allowed to live? That's it. That's the truth."

He explained how Faulcon happened to have the SUV he rented in June.

"He wanted to go to the store. He was going to drop some friends off or something," said Thomas. "I said 'I'll see you tomorrow then. That's what happened.'"

As for the rental car, the Camaro, Thomas says it was rented by his longtime girlfriend. It was also previously cited on the UNC campus for a parking violation.

Again, Thomas says Faulcon, a basketball player at Elizabeth City State University, was in possession of the car, not Hairston.

"I've never rented a vehicle for an athlete," said Thomas. "Why would I rent a vehicle for an athlete?"

The sports car in question is now sitting at the Hertz rental car lot at RDU Airport.

Thomas denies giving benefits to athletes, saying his contact with others players is purely social.

He says NCAA investigators have yet to contact him, and he defends the charged athletes.

"Their mothers are yelling and screaming at them and I'm like wow! This is a misdemeanor marijuana case, a ticket," said Thomas. "The only reason why ya'll are going through this is because their friend P.J. plays basketball for UNC and he could be the NBA's number one pick."

A spokesperson for the NCAA released a statement which said in part, "Due to member rules, we cannot comment on potential investigations."

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unc basketball, iteam, abc11 investigates, tamara gibbs
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