NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Charles Oakley won’t go to trial after all following his altercation in February with Madison Square Garden security at a Knicks game.
The former Knicks star accepted a deal Friday that would dismiss the misdemeanor assault and trespass charges against him if he stays out of trouble for the next six months and keeps away from the Garden for a year. Oakley had rejected the same deal in June, opting instead to go to trial, which would have begun Friday.
While Oakley, 54, had a change of heart about the deal, he has not changed his position.
“I wasn’t wrong from the beginning,” he said, according to 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa. “So if I wasn’t wrong, I wouldn’t have been fighting it, but things happen in life.”
He said he didn’t want to waste taxpayer money by going to trial.
“Why keep wasting time?” he said in court. “There’s better things. Let’s try to get the streets better for kids and progressing and smarter things in life than go to court for no reason.”
The Feb. 8 incident between Oakley and Garden security was captured on camera and posted on social media. In it, Oakley appears to shove security guards before they pull him away from his seat. At the time of the incident, sources told CBS2 the altercation with security guards followed comments Oakley made to Dolan, an allegation Oakley has repeatedly denied. The two have history of friction.
Oakley’s attorney said his client has now been vindicated and the Garden was wrong in the way they treated him.
“As we said from the onset, this was a personal issue between him and Mr. Dolan,” said Oakley’s attorney, Alex Spirro. “The security guards that were involved were sort of dragged into this.”
Spirro also said that Oakley “will be pursuing all civil remedies against Dolan based on this incident.”
Oakley said he has mixed feeling about the deal.
“Happy, sad — I don’t know,” he said. “That’s life. Like I said from Day 1, I wasn’t wrong.”
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.
CBS2 reached out to the Knicks and the team said it did not want to comment.