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Man Arrested In Connection to Robbery, Shooting of Knicks' Cleanthony Early

By  Rachelle Blidner and Murray Weiss | April 4, 2016 6:43pm 

 Early was with his girlfriend when men in ski masks shot him, police said.
Early was with his girlfriend when men in ski masks shot him, police said.
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BROOKLYN — A man was arrested Friday in connection with the December shooting and robbery of New York Knicks forward Cleanthony Early near a Queens strip club, authorities said.

Delvon Dowling, 22, told federal authorities he was not the shooter but admitted he was at the scene, according to Brooklyn federal court documents made public on Monday.

Early was robbed and shot in the right knee after he and his girlfriend left CityScapes Gentlemen’s Club in an Uber car on Dec. 30 around 4:30 a.m., the NYPD said in December.

Their Uber made it to Maurice and Tyler avenues, about a mile from the Maspeth club, when three vehicles surrounded the car and six men in ski masks approached with firearms, authorities said.

The crew pointed a gun at the 24-year-old passenger, who an NYPD spokeswoman would not name Monday, though sources tell DNAinfo New York it was Early. That passenger handed over his gold chains, worth about $9,000, and two Apple cellphones.

The 24-year-old was then shot in the right leg, according to the court papers.

The thieves also stole a driver’s license and other property from the Uber driver before fleeing, investigators said.

The arrest was first reported by the New York Post

Dowling, who goes by “Bam Bam,” said he and the other assailants had met in Brooklyn, drove to the club and waited outside “with the intent of committing a robbery,” according to a federal criminal complaint.

Dowling said he waited in a nearby car while the others committed the robbery, according to the complaint. He later received the two stolen cellphones and sold them for $40 each, William Puskas, an agent with the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosions Bureau, wrote. 

Dowling told authorities about his involvement with Early's case after he was arrested in his Brooklyn home on unrelated, unspecified charges Friday, police sources said. 

Dowling was held without bail on robbery and federal firearms charges, an NYPD spokeswoman said.

No other arrests have been made in the case.

Early, who had to take two months off from playing due to his injury, did not mention any arrest on social media as of Monday.