Richard King involved in altercation with Patti LaBelle’s bodyguards, time at West Point appears to be over

Richard King was a feel-good story in Army’s 2010 breakthrough season.

King, who suffered multiple concussions during his sophomore year forcing him to miss his junior season, returned to the football field and started nine of Army’s 13 games. He was second on the team with four interceptions.

Now, a concussion suffered away from the field, in an altercation with R&B singer Patti LaBelle’s bodyguards on March 11 in an Houston airport, of  all situations, has cost King his football career and his status as a West Point cadet.

King was set to return to West Point this fall for a fifth year and compete for a starting cornerback position.

But, West Point has suspended King for at least one year and ordered he go on active duty after Houston police reported the incident to the academy, according to the Associated Press.

King, who was home from spring break, filed a  lawsuit this week, suing LaBelle, saying she ordered her bodyguards to beat him up as he waited for a ride home outside a terminal at Bush Intercontinental Airport. The lawsuit, which was obtained by the Associated Press, says LaBelle believed King was standing too close to her “(no doubt expensive) luggage, even though he was oblivious to her presence and the danger he was in.”

Check out the surveilliance video and be the judge. King is shown being pummeled by three bodyguards. It appears some pushing was involved before the altercation.

LaBelle’s limousine driver told Houston police King hit him after he asked King to back away from the limo that LaBelle was in. The driver and a bodyguard told police King appeared to be intoxicated. One of King’s lawyers admits King had a few drinks but denied he was intoxicated.

King answered, “No,” when he was asked by an ABC News reporter if he was drunk.

There’s got to be more to this for West Point to act so harshly. Army is ordering a cadet, who has had close to 10 concussions, into active duty as a disciplinary action.

The alleged attack resulted in lingering dizziness and headaches for King, John Raley, one of King’s lawyers said. King was told by doctors he can never play football again because of the injuries, Raley said.

King was held out of contact drills this spring as precaution.

The most bizarre video image is LaBelle posing outside her limo for a pictures with fans and a Houston police officer, a few feet away from where King’s blood had spewed on the pavement.

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    Sal Interdonato

    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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