Josh Shaw case: LAPD investigating possible domestic violence

USC's Josh Shaw celebrates his tackle of Boston College's David Dudeck during a game at the Coliseum on Sept. 14, 2013.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles police said Friday they were investigating whether USC football player Josh Shaw and his girlfriend were involved in a domestic-violence incident last weekend.

Capt. John McMahon, head of Central Division patrol, said Friday that Shaw, citing his attorney’s advice, has refused to be interviewed about the case.

“We would have like to hear from Mr. Shaw to provide some clarity about the situation, but that is not going to happen,” said McMahon. “In light of that, our investigation into a possible domestic dispute will continue.”


McMahon said Shaw’s girlfriend had spoken to police and “did not indicate she was a victim” of domestic violence, but he declined to detail her statement.

Shaw’s attorney, Donald Etra, said his client “has already spoken to the LAPD twice. We believe that is enough. The matter is over and there is no need to talk to them further. ... Enough is enough.”

Police went to a third-floor apartment in the Orsini building in downtown Los Angeles about 10:40 p.m. Saturday night after receiving a report of a woman screaming, Officer Sara Faden said.

Officers knocked on the apartment door but there was no answer, Faden said. The officers then broke open the door and conducted a brief search, but found no one inside. Officers noticed that “the window had been pried open,” she said.

Faden said witnesses told police they had seen a man with dreadlocks climbing from the third-floor balcony of the apartment. The woman who resides in the unit then arrived on the scene.

Given the description of the man provided by witnesses, she said it fit that of her boyfriend, Shaw, who has another apartment in the building.


The woman, whom police have not identified, reported nothing stolen from the apartment.

Faden said the investigation was continuing.

Shaw, a senior defensive back, was suspended indefinitely by USC on Wednesday after he admitted to school officials that he lied about how he sustained injuries to his ankles.

Shaw initially told USC he was injured after jumping off a second-story balcony to save a young nephew from drowning in a pool at a family gathering in Palmdale.

USC touted Shaw’s heroism on its website and posted a link to the story on Twitter. Media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, reported the account, and it went viral over social media.

Shaw confessed Wednesday that the rescue story was a lie. Shaw’s attorney said the player was injured when he fell off a balcony at the Orsini on Saturday.