Tailpipe

Reefer Silliness

"And I look up," Krainess says, "and I'm like, you look like Shaq!"

They both start laughing, remembering the sheer incredulity.

"Shaq just sort of nods and says 'Uh-huh,'" Shawley remembers. "And I say, 'Oh my God. '"

They're sitting in their living room now. Shawley is tooling around on his laptop and wincing occasionally from the bruise on his back. The 10 p.m. television news is on, and suddenly O'Neal is there on television from Baton Rouge, holding a child evacuee of Hurricane Katrina. Next to Shaq, the baby looks so tiny, it seems as if it should be incubated. "He's nice," sighs Shawley, watching Shaq.

According to Miami police, Shaquille O'Neal witnessed the assault and helped apprehend Michael Gonzalez, 18, on Palm Island, where he was arrested for aggravated battery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Krainess and Shawley agree that if Shaq hadn't stepped in, Gonzalez would have gotten away.

Big Samaritan. But an even bigger issue.

"How can an 18-year-old kid in South Florida be raised with so much hate and hostility?" Shawley wonders. -- As told to Edmund Newton

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