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Charles Oakley in Court to Face Assault Charges After MSG Arrest, DA Says

By Maya Rajamani | April 11, 2017 11:43am
 Charles Oakley.
Charles Oakley.
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Patrick McMullen

NEW YORK CITY — Knicks legend Charles Oakley went to court to face assault charges Tuesday in connection with a high-profile scuffle at Madison Square Garden that ended with security forcefully removing him from the venue, prosecutors said. 

The beloved former player was arraigned on charges of assault, aggravated harassment, attempted assault, criminal trespass and two counts of harassment after getting a desk appearance ticket in February, a complaint with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office office said.

Police charged Oakley, 54, with three counts of misdemeanor assault and one count of criminal trespass at the time of his arrest, but he hadn’t officially been arraigned until Tuesday.

According to the complaint, Madison Square Garden events manager Thomas Redmond asked Oakley to leave the venue more than three times after the former player started “shouting and cursing” while watching a game between the Knicks and the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 8.

Oakley refused to leave, shoved Redmond and struck him in the face with his hand, the complaint said.

The complaint also accused Oakley of shoving the Garden’s event supervisor Jayson Jacknow, striking him in the arm with his hand and leaving him with a laceration to his hand and bruises that lasted for several days.

Oakley was released without bail after the Tuesday appearance and is next expected to appear in court on May 30, the DA’s office said.

His attorney didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Madison Square Garden and Knicks owner James Dolan fired his top security chief and temporarily banned Oakley from the venue after the February altercation, claiming the former player had been “physically and verbally abusive” and had problems with anger and alcohol that he needed to address.

Oakley, however, said he didn’t heckle Dolan or become abusive at the game, maintaining that the Knicks owner had a personal vendetta against him.

Prior to his Tuesday court appearance, Oakley told the Associated Press he “would have done everything just the same way” that night.

“I didn’t do nothing. I was only in the arena five minutes. I didn’t know you could get in that much trouble in five minutes,” he said. “I’d take my chances and do the same thing again.”