04/07/2011 at 10:00 AM EDT
LeBron James's mother, Gloria, was arrested early Thursday after an alleged altercation at the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach.
"There was an incident involving Mrs. Gloria James and an employee of our valet parking provider while she was exiting the hotel early Thursday morning," a spokesperson for Fontainebleau Miami Beach, said in a statement. (Lebron, meanwhile, had a game that night.)
According to a source on the scene, Gloria and some girlfriends came to party at club LIV at the Fontainebleau, where she was being "sweet as pie" during the the night out. When it came time to leave around 5 a.m., a security guard escorted her to the valet area to collect her car. The escort was not because she was behaving badly, the source says, but because it's a Fontainebleau policy to provide their VIP guests with an escort.
"When Gloria went to get in her car, she said she couldn't find her keys which she was told were in the car," the source tells PEOPLE. "She got angry quickly and swung her bag at the valet person who brought the car."
But her aim was off, and Gloria missed the valet with her bag, the source says, so she slapped his face a minute later. That's when, the source says, the police were called, and Gloria was taken into custody early Thursday morning.
The Miami Beach Police Department processed James and charged her with simple battery and disorderly intoxication. The Miami Herald
first reported that she would likely face a misdemeanor assault charge.
also says Gloria James has been in trouble with the law before, having faced a DUI charge in Ohio in 2006.
Gloria raised LeBron, 26, an NBA star, as a single mother. He sports a "Queen James" tattoo in her honor and has described her as a strong-willed woman who kept him humble in the wake of his super stardom.
"She doesn't hold her tongue," he told GQ
last year. "If she sees something that she believes isn't right or is right, she's going to speak about it."