Richard King update: King booted from West Point, waiting deployment

Richard King, now a former West Point cadet, was in Houston Tuesday to meet with John Raley, his lawyer, after he was separated from the academy Monday following an investigation into a March 11 incident with singer Patti LaBelle’s bodyguards at Houston’s George Bush Intercontiental Airport.

The Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday that Raley had asked the academy to reconsider its decision.

Video shows a bodyguard and two other individuals attacking King and punching him in the face. King’s head hit a concrete pillar during the altercation, causing a concussion and lingering effects.

Reports say King has been placed in up to 18-month active-duty mentorship program for violating the academy’s code of honor. King, who will turn 24 in September, is still waiting for his deployment order, KTRK-TV in Houston reports. He is eligible to re-apply for admission back into the academy at the end of the program.

King referred questions to Raley, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

West Point’s Public Affairs office did not respond to a request for comment on the situation Tuesday. The office released a statement saying, “The U.S. Military Academy completed a thorough investigation regarding the incident that occurred at the Houston Airport on March 11, 2011, involving Cadet Richard King. Following this investigation, the Academy chain of command took appropriate administrative action in accordance with Army Regulation 210-26. At this time, the specific details of Cadet King’s case are protected by the Privacy Act, and are therefore not releasable.”

King is suing LaBelle and her employees, who hit him as he waited near LaBelle’s limousine for a ride home outside a Houston terminal.
Zuri Edwards, LaBelle’s limo driver, had told police King, who started nine games at cornerback in 2010, hit him after he asked the cadet to back away from the limousine that LaBelle was in.

Edwards and a bodyguard told police King appeared to be intoxicated. Raley said King, named as a suspect in the police report, had a few drinks on the flight to Houston but has denied he was intoxicated.

“The guy came from out of nowhere and I didn’t see it coming, and by the time that he had hit me, my head already had been jerked back and it didn’t seem like I had enough time to react to anything,” King told KTRK on Tuesday. “I wasn’t trying to fight anybody at all.”

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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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