Memorabilia Dealer and Former Friend Says Simpson Was in the Room During Robbery

Memorabilia dealer and friend says Simpson was in the room during robbery.

ByABC News via logo
February 12, 2009, 10:06 AM

Sept. 17, 2007 — -- Police arrested former football star O.J. Simpson at a Las Vegas hotel Sunday after police say he and five men robbed two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint in their hotel room.

Simpson is being held at the Clark County Detention Center without bail until Thursday, but ABC News has learned that Simpson's attorney plans to file an emergency motion requesting an emergency bail hearing by 10 a.m.

Bruce Fromong, one of the dealers in the room and a former friend of Simpson, said today on "Good Morning America" that Simpson was the last person who came through the door.

"The thing in my mind as soon as I saw him, I'm thinking, 'O.J., how can you be this dumb?'" Fromong said. "He didn't need to be there."

Fromong said Simpson and his cohorts initially said they were customers, looking to buy memorabilia. Two of the men — not Simpson, he said — were armed.

"The door burst open, and in came, running in, almost commando-style, O.J. Simpson and some of his people, with guns drawn," Fromong said. "And O.J. at that time was saying, 'I want my stuff. I want my stuff.'"

Fromong said that Simpson was in the room during the armed robbery, but that Simpson never held a gun or other weapon.

Simpson has told reporters that he was merely trying to get back some of his belongings.

Fromong said today on "GMA" that some of the memorabilia he was selling did belong to Simpson at one time. "But these were things that belonged to him a long time ago," he said.

Simpson told reporters that in addition to sports memorabilia, he was also looking for the suit he wore in court in 1995 — the day he was acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. Fromong said he didn't have the suit.

The Web site obtained an audiotape that it says is a recording of Simpson in the room during the burglary, saying, "Don't let nobody out of the room (expletive). Think you can steal my (expletive) and sell it?"

ABC News has not confirmed the authenticity of the recording.

As Simpson was led in handcuffs into a Las Vegas jail Sunday, onlookers yelled, "Guilty!" and "No Johnny to save you this time, O.J.!"

Thirteen years after being charged with the murders of Brown Simpson and Goldman, Simpson was arrested Sunday on two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, two counts of burglary with a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit burglary.

The Clark County district attorney told The Associated Press that he expected Simpson to be charged with seven felonies and one gross misdemeanor. If convicted of the charges, Simpson could face up to 30 years in state prison on each robbery count alone.

One of the men in the Simpson group, Clarence Stewart, was arrested this afternoon. Las Vegas attorney Rob Lucherini, who represents Stewart, told ABC News that his client turned himself in and that he is expected to be granted bail and released tonight. Lucherini says his client has known Simpson for a few years and the two are golfing friends.

Police also arrested Walter Alexander, 46, of Arizona, and they are still looking for three other men who were allegedly involved. Police also recovered two guns allegedly used in the robbery at a sealed location.

Fromong said that while he is sure he saw Simpson enter the room, he was disappointed in the former football star's decision.

"It doesn't make me feel good, knowing that this is a man I called a friend," Fromong said.

Fred Goldman, the father of Ron Goldman, said he hopes that justice will be served in this case.

"I don't want to see any repeat of the celebrity game that was played during the criminal trial," said Goldman. "I'd like to think Ron has a smile on his face."

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