CHICAGO (Reuters) - An attorney for Miami Heat basketball star Dwyane Wade asked a judge on Tuesday to suspend his ex-wife’s child-visitation rights after she was charged with attempting to abduct their two sons.
The request comes after Siovaughn Funches-Wade was charged with two misdemeanor counts of attempted child abduction, interfering with child visitation, and resisting arrest when sheriff’s officers came to her suburban Chicago home on Saturday to retrieve the children, said Cook County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Frank Bilecki.
Wade’s attorney, James Pritikin, asked a judge on Tuesday to suspend Funches-Wade’s visitation rights and demanded that her future visits be supervised.
The couple had waged a contentious legal battle in a Chicago courtroom, leading to Wade winning custody of their sons, Zaire, 10, and Zion, 5, in March 2011. The couple had divorced in 2010.
On Saturday, Wade’s sister had tried to reach Funches-Wade by telephone to pick up the boys and fly them to Miami to be with their father, who was playing in the third game of the National Basketball Association Championship Finals the following day, Father’s Day.
Police were called but they too received no answer at Funches-Wade’s home. Officers then spotted the boys playing in the backyard, Bilecki said.
Officers confronted Funches-Wade, who flailed her arms and resisted arrest, Bilecki said. She demanded to be taken to a hospital complaining of an asthma attack and a broken arm, but was released from the hospital with no sign of injury, he said.
Wade chartered a plane to fly the boys to Miami in time for Sunday’s game. The Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder and lead the best-of-seven series two games to one, with game four to be played on Tuesday night.
Funches-Wade’s attorney, Michael Haber, said the incident had been “blown all out of proportion” and that police would not have been involved if Wade were not a sports star.
“Mrs. Wade merely made a mistake. Her phone was turned off. The boys were fine. They were playing in the pool,” Haber said.
Haber said she should oppose Wade’s petition to suspend her visitation rights - once she hires a new lawyer. He has asked the judge for permission to withdraw from her case but would not comment on the reason.
Funches-Wade was released from custody and has an August 15 court date on the criminal charges, which are all misdemeanors, Bilecki said. The next court date in the custody case is June 26.
Reporting by Andrew Stern; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Philip Barbara