NY Knicks Owner James Dolan Accused of Arranging Alleged Attack On Charles Oakley

The Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan reported that Charles Oakley has accused New York Knicks owner James Dolan of orchestrating an alleged attack by the Madison Square Garden security in new court papers filed in a three-year-old civil case.

The latest filings stem from a long-simmering controversy between the two sides that overflowed after a scuffle took place in the baseline stands when security physically removed Oakley from MSG during a Knicks game in 2017.

After the incident, Oakley was charged with misdemeanor assault, harassment, and trespassing. In 2018, Oakley accepted a plea agreement and the charges were dismissed.

Dolan barred Oakley from MSG, and since then, the two sides have engaged in a public war of words that have disparaged each other. In September of 2017, Oakley filed a civil suit against Dolan and the Knicks, accusing the security staff of assault, battery, and false imprisonment. In the complaint, he accused Dolan of slander.

In February, Manhattan Federal Judge Richard Sullivan dismissed the complaint. He wrote in his ruling that “Oakley grossly misunderstands the law concerning a landlord’s right to remove a trespasser from its property.”

Oakley vowed to challenge the ruling, and the assault and battery allegation was reinstated by the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Those charges were initially brought against MSG, but according to documents obtained by Kaplan, Oakley now wishes to name Dolan personally.

Oakley’s legal team claims that new video evidence demonstrates that Dolan instructed his security team to carry out the alleged assault. Per the new filing obtained by The Athletic:

After filing the Amended Complaint (in 2018), Plaintiff came into possession of evidence that demonstrated that Mr. Dolan, too, engaged in sufficient conduct to be held liable for the assault and battery at issue in this case.”

Specifically, Plaintiff learned the following concerning the moments before and after the alleged assault and battery: during a stoppage in gameplay, while Plaintiff was not acting boisterously, Mr. Dolan, after looking at Plaintiff, called over and conferred with a security guard; that guard then walked away and joined a group of approximately ten other security guards that had assembled on the side of the court.”

In a statement, MSG responded to the new claims provided to The Athletic: “All claims against Jim Dolan have been dismissed, including on appeal, so we fully expect the court to once again find this latest attempt entirely without merit,” the statement read.

Oakley and MSG have long maintained that Oakley was the instigator in the incident.

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