PERRY -- A former Atlanta Braves player is accused of putting a gun to a Kathleen man’s head and threatening him outside a Warner Robins Waffle House, according to a lawsuit against the player.
Ryan Klesko also is accused -- along with his business partner, Richard Spear, of Perry -- of spreading lies about plaintiff James McDaniel, according to the lawsuit filed May 26 in Houston County Superior Court.
From June 2009 until Sept. 1, 2010, the three held a business relationship in which Klesko and Spear would provide financial support while McDaniel secured contract work and managed the projects, according to court documents. Work centered around managing rental properties and purchasing additional distressed properties, as well as obtaining contracts at Robins Air Force Base.
The business relationship soured after a June 25, 2010, breakfast meeting at the Waffle House on Russell Parkway in Warner Robins.
“After breakfast, at about 8:30 a.m., Klesko ... told Plaintiff McDaniel to come and sit with him in his pickup truck,” the lawsuit states. “After luring Mr. McDaniel to his truck under the pretence [sic] of continuing the business meeting and away from witnesses, Ryan Klesko put his loaded pistol to Mr. McDaniel’s head and told him he would kill him if he ever betrayed Klesko or left (their business).”
Klesko, who has a residence in Macon, also threatened that he would make sure McDaniel would “never work around here or on the Base again,” the lawsuit states.
McDaniel filed a report about the incident with Warner Robins police nearly three months later on Sept. 14, 2010, and told police he would pursue his own case.
Spear, on behalf of his and Klesko’s corporate entity RK OCR Holdings LLC, filed a police report against McDaniel on Sept. 1, 2010, claiming misappropriation of company property and other fraud totaling $28,000. McDaniel denies the allegations in his lawsuit and accuses the pair of spreading lies about him to “just about anyone they could.”
McDaniel is seeking an unspecified amount of compensation.
His attorney, Kevin Herrick of Dunwoody, had no additional comment on the lawsuit.
An attorney for Spear and Klesko could not be reached for comment.
Klesko, a former first baseman and outfielder, played for the Braves from 1992-99. He went on to play with the San Diego Padres and the San Francisco Giants before announcing his retirement in 2008.
To contact writer Jennifer Burk, call 256-9705.