Charles Oakley on Friday rejected an offer that could have led to the dismissal of his misdemeanor charges stemming from his February scuffle with Madison Square Garden security and instead agreed to take his case to trial Aug. 4.
During a brief hearing at Manhattan Criminal Court, a prosecutor offered Oakley what in legal terms is referred to as “an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal.” That means the charges would have been dropped if Oakley is not arrested during a set period of time, typically six months.
The offer, which would not have required Oakley to plead guilty or admit guilt, also included a protective order. But assistant district attorney Ryan Lipes did not identify the terms of the protective order, such as whom Oakley would be barred from contacting and for how long.
Oakley’s attorney, Alex Spiro, who has taken over the case after not being involved with the former Knicks player’s arraignment two months ago, instead asked Judge Joanne Watters for a trial date in the fall. They settled on Aug. 4.
Oakley, dressed in a gray suit, blue tie and white basketball shoes, faces two assault charges, two harassment charges and one charge of criminal trespassing. Asked after the hearing why he declined the offer of the adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, he said, “You know more about it than I do.”
Asked for his thoughts on going to trial, he said, “It’s part of life.”
Oakley declined further comment about the case as he was trailed by a horde of reporters and cameras for two blocks.
According to the criminal complaint obtained by Newsday, two witnesses told police that Oakley hit them during the scuffle with MSG early in the Knicks-Clippers game Feb. 8.
Thomas Redmond, an event manager at Madison Square Garden, said Oakley proceeded to shove him and strike him with his hand after ignoring his request to leave. Another person, identified as Jayson Jacknow, said Oakley struck him in the arm “with the side of his hand, causing redness and bruising that lasted for several days, a laceration to [my] hand and substantial pain.”
A spokesman for Madison Square Garden declined to comment.