Man linked to Hairston rentals has more local athlete ties
Posted July 8, 2013
Updated July 9, 2013
Durham, N.C. — The Durham man linked to multiple rental cars driven by University of North Carolina’s P.J. Hairston has a checkered past and ties to multiple athletes, records show.
Haydn “Fats” Thomas, 39, has a long criminal history and also left a trail of tweets detailing arrests, drugs, trips and relationships with former high-profile athletes before deleting his Twitter account July 1.
Some of the relationships with athletes from UNC, Duke and other institutions, bring into question whether he provided impermissible benefits which could result in NCAA sanctions for those programs.
A statement from the NCAA received Monday stated that they "cannot comment on potential investigations."
WRAL confirmed Monday that Thomas rented the silver GMC Yukon that Hairston was driving June 2 when he was pulled over. Thomas told the USA Today that he let Miykael Faulcon, a basketball player at Elizabeth City State, borrow the car “to go to a store” and that he did not know Hairston. The rental agreement obtained by USA Today shows Thomas returned the SUV on June 5 for a charge of $1,261.64.
Hairston, Faulcon and 23-year-old Carlos Sanford were pulled over at a license check point in Durham at 10:20 p.m. on June 5. Police found a half an ounce of marijuana, a 9-mm handgun and ammunition in and near the car. Hairston was cited with driving without a license and possession of marijuana.
USA Today reported the car was returned at 10:30 p.m., just 10 minutes after the traffic stop.
Hairston was pulled over for speeding May 13 in a vehicle rented by a woman who listed the same address as Thomas. Catinia Farrington rented a Chevrolet Camaro for 54 days ending June 17, at a cost of $3,249.
Two months earlier, Thomas rented the same vehicle for 22 days – from March 25 to April 15 -- at a price of $2,468.47.
Hairston was pulled over in May in the Camaro, driving 54 mph in a 45 mph zone on Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., and charged with speeding.
According to a UNC spokesperson, Hairston "is not enrolled in the second session of summer classes (he was in the first, but then left for Colorado for Team USA tryouts). His status with the team has not changed."
Multiple calls to Hairston's attorney, Sam Coleman, had yet to be returned as of Monday afternoon.
Twitter trail links “Fats,” athletes
On July 26, 2012, a Twitter user by the name of @fats315 posted a photo that showed former North Carolina forward John Henson and another man seated on a couch at a club. Henson was selected in the NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks just 28 days earlier.
Other tweets to and from @fats315, many of which includes pictures, appear to show relationships with UNC basketball players. On Nov. 14, 2012, UNC guard Leslie McDonald tweeted that “Fats” had given him a phone, which McDonald activated and used.
McDonald was two games into the 2012-13 season at the time.
Henson and McDonald are also known to associate with Thomas at the same time. A picture taken at Solas in downtown Raleigh, posted to A.C.T.Productions' Facebook account and dated Aug. 1, 2012, shows Thomas, Henson, McDonald and six other men during a "Penthouse Wednesdays" party.
On Jan. 14, former Ohio State and current Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor retweeted a tweet from a club promoter in Miami that shows him hanging out with former UNC wide receiver Greg Little, former Riverside and current Indianapolis Colts tight end Weslye Saunders and Thomas.
The @fats315 account frequently interacted with Saunders, Henson, McDonald and former UNC guard Dexter Strickland, among other North Carolina athletes, like former Hillside and Duke wide receiver Desmond Scott.
One tweet, dated March 24, 2012, reads simply “ROADTRIP!!!” and tags Scott, Thomas and two other accounts. There is an accompanying image of three bottles of alcohol. Scott played for the Blue Devils football program last season as a senior.
Other pictures from the @fats315 account show bullets, large receipts from trips to Las Vegas and marijuana.
On May 17, @fats315 tweeted, “Damn I just realize I’ve been lock up in every county from Raleigh to Greensboro… WTF.”
Thomas’ Criminal record precedes sports connections
Court records show that Thomas was most recently arrested Dec. 15, on charges of drug paraphernalia possession, maintaining a dwelling and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Calls to Thomas’ lawyer had not yet been returned by Monday afternoon.
Thomas has been convicted of at least nine offenses – four of them felonies - in Durham and Wake counties since 2006. Offenses include drug paraphernalia possession, obtaining property by false pretense, carrying of a concealed weapon, possession of stolen goods and printing and spending false money.
Thomas did not serve jail time for any of his nine convictions.
Thomas was also on the witness list for the prosecution in the Duke lacrosse rape case in 2006. At the time, Thomas worked security for the Platinum Night Club in Hillsborough, the club in which the alleged rape victim worked.