NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Former Knicks star Charles Oakley was escorted from his seats at Madison Square Garden and taken into police custody after an altercation following comments he made to team owner James Dolan, sources tell CBS2.
Sources say Oakley purchased tickets to Wednesday night’s game and was seated behind Dolan. After making the comments, the former power forward was asked to leave.
On video posted to social media, Oakley appeared to shove security guards before they pulled him away from his seat behind the baseline during the first quarter of the Knicks’ game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night. Fans chanted “Oakley! Oakley!” in support of the popular power forward.
Sources say the former fan favorite refused to leave, and instead hit one employee in the face with a closed fist, causing swelling to the face.
Two other employees received minor cuts to their hands while attempting to remove Oakley, according to sources.
All three victims refused medical attention.
The altercation took place just a few rows behind the court during a stoppage in play as current Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis was shooting free throws, and players from both teams turned to watch.
Oakley was handcuffed near an arena exit as he waited for police to arrive. Police say he’s been charged with three counts of third degree assault and one count of criminal trespassing. He was issued a desk appearance ticket, according to police.
Oakley played for the Knicks from 1988 until 1998, helping them reach the 1994 NBA Finals alongside Patrick Ewing, John Starks, the late Anthony Mason and head coach Pat Riley. But has a poor relationship with the team because of his criticisms of Dolan, the Madison Square Garden chairman.
“Charles Oakley came to the game tonight and behaved in a highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner,” the Knicks wrote in a statement on Twitter. “He has been ejected and is currently being arrested by the New York City Police Department. He was a great Knick and we hope he gets some help soon.”
The 6-foot-8 Oakley was a rugged enforcer has kept his tough-guy persona long after retirement, trading barbs with former rival Charles Barkley recently.
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