Former Knicks All-Star Charles Oakley arraigned on assault charge from MSG incident
This was his first court appearance since being ejected from Madison Square Garden and arrested in February
Two months after being ejected from Madison Square Garden and arrested, former New York Knicks forward Charles Oakley appeared in criminal court in Manhattan on Tuesday. Oakley was arraigned on “misdemeanor assault and other charges before being released without bail,” per the Associated Press:
Prosecutors have accused the 53-year-old Oakley of striking a security guard in the fracas. They say two other people who intervened were pushed and received cuts.
Oakley says he’ll fight the charges. He told The Associated Press in an interview this week that he didn’t do anything wrong.
Oakley, 53, has a longstanding feud with Knicks owner James Dolan and has maintained that he was treated unfairly at the arena. From Newsday’s Jim Baumbach:
Before the hearing, Oakley said he was hopeful that the charges would be dismissed. “Should be a good day,” he said. But afterward he said he is at peace with waiting until next month to give his version of events in court.
“I don’t feel disrespected,” he said. “It’s part of life. There were a lot of people in there who did something and were defending themselves. It’s a process.”
According to the criminal complaint obtained by Newsday, Thomas Redmond, an event manager at Madison Square Garden, said he asked Oakley to leave three times after observing him curse and yell. Redmond said Oakley then proceeded to “shove him and strike him with his hand,” according to the complaint.
Another witness, identified in the complaint as Jayson Jacknow, said Oakley also shoved and struck him in the arm “with the side of his hand, causing redness and bruising that lasted for several days, a laceration to his hand and substantial pain.”
Oakley insisted after the hearing he did nothing wrong that night.
“I bought the ticket,” he said. “I sat in my seat. Eight people came over and the next thing you know you’re being dragged out of the Garden.”
After the embarrassing incident, Dolan banned Oakley from Madison Square Garden and suggested in a radio interview that Oakley had a drinking problem. Dolan later dropped the ban, but Oakley has said he’s not ready to forgive Dolan or go to another Knicks home game. He has been seen New York play in visiting arenas, however.
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