American basketball player Chauncey Hardy was beaten to death in Romanian city of Giurgiu on Saturday because he put his cap on a girl's head in a club that night, prosecutors investigating the case said on Monday. The victim - Hardy - was thrown to the floor and hit his head some 40 cm away from the place he was hit, according to the file. The case caused two investigations and an uproar among the public at large, considering the involvement of local mob personalities in Giurgiu.

Chauncey Hardy, una dintre ultimele pozeFoto: Facebook

According to the prosecution file, Hardy was dancing with other youths as usual when he put his cap on the head of Alina R., a young girl who was also dancing near a table where Serban C., a witness in the file, was sitting. As Hardy did not speak Romanian well, he did not understand the objections of the witness, who was under the influence of alcohol. That is why the main subject - Ionut Tanasoaia, intervened. Tanasoaia punched Hardy in the chin, and the victim smashed his head on the floor, according to the file, quoted by local news agency Mediafax.

An autopsy found that the cause of the death was a head trauma. According to reports, suspect George Ionut Tanasoaie risks a sentence of 5 to 15 years.

The autopsy results challenge a previous preliminary diagnostic of a Giurgiu hospital that Hardy died of alcoholic coma.

Hardy died at about 8 p.m as his condition worsened in the hospital in Giurgiu, than in Bucharest.

Reports say two inquiries will be launched in the case: the Health Ministry of Romania demands supplementary details about the Giurgiu Hospital where a wrong diagnostic of alcoholic coma was first declared; secondly, the police will be investigated for not applying tests to measure blood alcohol when the basketball player was sent to hospital - a test which might have saved his life.

Key suspect George Ionut Tanasoaie was held at the Giurgiu County Police with a proposal of 29-day preventive arrest.

Giurgiu mayor Lucian Iliescu told Mediafax news agency the Emotionne club where the incident took place would be closed

Chauncey Hardy, 23, was celebrating a victory of his team against Dinamo Bucharest, 91-86, in a match where he scored 22 points. He was transferred to CSS Giurgiu club in August this year. He is a graduate of the Sacred Heart University and has played in the NCAA for four seasons.

Romanian media reports on Sunday pointed to the involvement of a local mob clan in Giurgiu in the club incident.

The US Embassy to Bucharest has issued a statement showing concern about the circumstances of the incident and announced it would closely follow the evolution of the investigation.

The case received extensive coverage in international media, from AFP to Daily Mail and Marca, with commentators on Huffington Post going as far as to claim that Chauncey Hardy as allegedly killed because he was black, given that race hate was stil widespread in European countries.