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Army starting CB involved in incident with Patti LaBelle’s bodyguards, sent into active duty

Singer Patti LaBelle sings at the dedication of the Ronald H. Brown United States Mission to the United Nations Building in New York

No, seriously, that’s what’s (apparently) going down.

In one of the more bizarre stories involving a college football player you’ll ever hear, Army cornerback Richard King has been suspended by the West Point school for one year following an incident at a Houston airport involving R&B singer Patti LaBelle and her bodyguards.

And, not only has he been suspended for a year, his sanctions also include being sent into active duty.

(Kinda makes running steps in a stadium seem trite, doesn’t it?)

King suffered a concussion — he’s reportedly had nearly 10 of those types of head injuries — during the March 11 altercation and has filed a lawsuit against LaBelle.  Because of the injuries suffered during the incident, King has been told by doctors that he’ll never play football again.

Here are the pertinent details as relayed by

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 surveillance 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.

And here is the video clip mentioned by the paper.  The real drama begins right around the 1:30 mark and is at the bottom of the screen:

As noted by, there had to have been more to this situation — or other situations were involved — than just what’s been reported for the Army to send a concussed cadet into active duty as punishment.

King had been held out of spring practice as a precaution against the concussion, but his football career appears to be over, whether it be due to the multiple head injuries or the disciplinary action taken by the military school.  And, as an aside, what the hell was a football player who’s suffered in the neighborhood of 10 concussions going to be doing on a football field anyway?

Be that as it may, King started nine games as a sophomore in 2010 and was expected to man one of the corner spots in 2011 until the incident/injury derailed those plans.

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35 Responses to “Army starting CB involved in incident with Patti LaBelle’s bodyguards, sent into active duty”
  1. halo81 says: Jun 4, 2011 11:20 AM

    I don’t care if he was stone drunk, you don’t slam a man’s head off of a concrete pillar for being too close to somebody’s luggage.

    I hope he takes a sizable chunk and/or large settlement out of LaBelle.

    Now she just adds to Philadelphia embarrassments.

  2. myballsmyrules says: Jun 4, 2011 11:35 AM

    Patti LaBelle did not his a$$ out.
    ONE bodyguard did. Don’t blame Patti

  3. genericcommenter says: Jun 4, 2011 11:44 AM

    LaBelle’s bodyguards assaulted this man, but it appears West Point is further assaulting him. It is the Army’s responsibility to reverse their decision. If they do not, THAT part of it is not LaBelle’s fault but the fault of the Army for making a bad decision and apparently handling this like the Houston PD and deferring to the word of the celebrity rather than the evidence.

    That said, I don’t see where the evidence is that LaBelle ordered the attack, as many are reporting. I don’t see video evidence that shows LaBelle lowering her window and telling her guys to attack him.

    Unfortunately, I’ve seen many videos that clearly showed unprovoked assaults and the victims usually are the ones who get in trouble.

  4. tryagainplease says: Jun 4, 2011 11:44 AM

    patti labelle? did i time warp back to ’85 again?

  5. schuhbdoo says: Jun 4, 2011 11:55 AM

    That young man had every right to be there. It was a staging area for passengers to get picked up from flights. Patti LaBelle and her crew didn’t own that space. For these three thugs to pummel him is an embarrassment. Secondly, he is in the Army. Is this what we do to the brave young men that serve our country? I hope he gets a lot of money for the actions of those so called bodyguards. 3 on 1 is not a fair fight. If they would of asked nicely, he would of eventually moved. No need for violence like this in today’s world.

  6. edgy says: Jun 4, 2011 12:06 PM

    Under normal circumstances, I’d defend the guy but they won’t do something like this JUST because a celebrity was involved (Hell, for a bunch of conservative tight asses, they’d probably applaud him for taking on a liberal like LaBelle). I’m sure that there’s more to this story that would make the Army do what they did because if he wasn’t guilty of anything, they’d keep him at West Point (Since his primary mission is NOT to play football) and let him finish up and go on to a career.

  7. jw731 says: Jun 4, 2011 12:21 PM

    Yeah, he was probably eyeing up LaBelle’s luggage cause he was about to go on a camping trip, and he was looking to use one of her outfits as a tent…..

  8. ccad05 says: Jun 4, 2011 12:40 PM

    Interesting how the security guard found time for a photo op instead of doing his damn job

  9. pjduffey says: Jun 4, 2011 12:54 PM

    To those saying that Patti Labelle didn’t (seem to) order her bodyguards to attack him, that is irrelevant. In a civil (as opposed to criminal) suit, people are held liable for the actions of their agents (employees, etc) that are performed in the scope of their duties. So, since they were clearly on the clock here, she will probably be personally liable for anything they did. Of course, they will have to proved liable first.

    Maybe this video is incomplete, but I don’t see anything that would corroborate the Driver’s story of getting punched. It looks like the kid is standing around on his cell phone until a bunch of over-sensitive bodyguards working for a has-been start attacking him.

    Like the commentors above, I’d like to see the evidence that the Westpoint disciplinary committee saw that led them to suspend the kid and send him to active duty for a year. In any event, I hope nothing happens to him while on duty.

  10. mddare007 says: Jun 4, 2011 12:59 PM

    That is horse shit. This guy didn’t do anything wrong, and certainly didn’t deserve that beating. I hope these thugs go to jail and Patti Labelle figures out that nobody gives a shit about her bags.

  11. Slim Charles says: Jun 4, 2011 1:33 PM

    Maybe the bags had food in them.

  12. glenngr12 says: Jun 4, 2011 1:59 PM

    For all of you people who thinks he has a big payday coming don’t bet on it. The Army would be pursuing criminal charges and civil suits, if the bodyguards were at fault. This will show you people don’t get drunk and act like an a$$.

  13. TxGrown says: Jun 4, 2011 2:40 PM

    edgy….is the tightass….his posts prove it everyday.

  14. lucky5934 says: Jun 4, 2011 2:43 PM

    I’m sorry Glenngr12, but where did you read the results of a sobriety test? Were you there in person? Did you talk with the victim prior to his inability to defend himself against 3 men? Yeah, I didn’t think so! So how the hell do you know he was drunk and acting like an A$$?? You most likely saw the same video we did and like us, have no way of picking out any instigation on the young man’s behalf? Seems like the only one acting like an a$$ is you! Those three men should be placed under arrest. Three professionally trained body guards beating up one cornerback sized man. It amazes and sickens me that people are taking pictures with LaBelle immediately after the incident.

  15. glenngr12 says: Jun 4, 2011 2:48 PM

    @lucky he admitted he had a few drinks. If he admitted to a few ,it was probably more than a few. If you learn how to comprehend what you read you will not look like the a$$ you are.

  16. halo81 says: Jun 4, 2011 2:55 PM

    To follow up on my earlier comments…

    Being familiar with West Point, the cadet honor code obviously goes far beyond “a cadet will not lie, cheat or steal” and also, they’re not as basic as you may think.

    For example, a friend of mine was punished severely while at West Point when a group of his friends and he snuck in the back door of a game park. He reported himself. That is still stealing in their book.

    If this cadet had been drinking and/or looked publicly intoxicated and then been in a physical altercation, it still doesn’t hold up to conduct becoming of a cadet.

    I just spoke to a good friend who is an Army Ranger and an officer and his guess is that King would be put into active duty in a non-combat zone like Germany and then re-instated into West Point after his suspension from the school barring any further incidents.

    I was also told he’ll most likely be encouraged to drop any type of civil suit by West Point.

    Again, this was the opinion of one officer, not an official at West Point, so take it for what it’s worth, one man’s opinion who has seen this happen a few times.

    As I said up top though, what a bunch of tools to go after him and I don’t care if he had a few too many or not.

    I’m shocked that bystanders saw a member of our Armed Forces being attacked and did nothing about it. I’m not claiming to be a tough guy, but I’d have certainly been in that had he identified himself as Army.

  17. weathersusa says: Jun 4, 2011 3:32 PM

    Let me see – get beat up for no real reason after a football career to date where it is believed that you have suffered 10 concussions (give or take), so the logical determination by those that oversee your life for the next however long your hitch is say that you need to serve in active duty (combat). What an interesting way to screw someone over! I hope this kid catches a break some time soon.

  18. purpleronin says: Jun 4, 2011 3:33 PM

    My guess is he is being punished by the Army for public intoxication, or as least for drinking while being held out of pratices for an injury, clearly this would be a violation of the Honor code. Playing on the Army team is treated by the players and coaches as being as serious a duty as ‘manning your post’. Also i agree with other posters that Ms Labelle is libel for any damages her bodyguards do while in her employ and on duty, as they clearly are, almost irregardless of the bystanders actions, as they’re attack on him was obviously brutal and excessive. The Law allows them at most to take action equal to or less than the threat he poses, and her lawers would have a difficult time proving he was any threat at all…

  19. edgy says: Jun 4, 2011 3:54 PM

    TxGrown says:


    You’re so full of it. Do you even know what officer and a gentleman means, besides the movie title? These guys can be kicked out of the service academies for crap that most of people think is trivial and it seems that more than a few of you are treating it that way:

    We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does.
    Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, so help me God.

    While I may sympathize with what happened to him, I don’t see how the Army does anything to him UNLESS there’s something here that you and I don’t know about. Oh and yes, they ARE tight-asses. If you ever had to deal with people in the service like I did for 9 1/2 years, you’d know what I’m talking about.

  20. ccad05 says: Jun 4, 2011 3:55 PM

    Am I the only one that noticed the one “bodyguard/thug” turn and look back at the limo for a second right before he attacked the kid? Looks like he was given the go ahead by someone in the car.

  21. stairwayto7 says: Jun 4, 2011 4:05 PM

    Would this be on FOX, CNN, NBC, CBS and ABC if a white bodyguard had beaten up a black cadet? Where is Jeese Jackson and Al Sharpton to help out a black man getting a beat down?????

  22. brasho says: Jun 4, 2011 5:20 PM

    Yeah, that CB looked to be pretty menacing while on his cell phone. The first thug/bodyguard came up and pushed him and the guy pushed him back while still holding the phone to his ear then got the crap kicked out of him.

    Bodyguards/police/detention and security officers are not supposed to strike a person but apparently LaBelle hired a bunch of ignorant thugs. It’s unfortuante that somebody didn’t jump onto screen and Jackie Chan their asses.

    I agree with the previous poster, if the roles had been reversed and the person being assaulted was black instead of white and the people that were carrying out the assault were white, we’d be seeing clips on this on every network. I hope FOX or somebody picks this up and runs with it. This is unjust.

    What pisses me off as well is the two scumbag cops that were more concerned with getting their pictures taken with Patti LaBelle than doing their jobs and putting those thugs behind bars.

  23. brasho says: Jun 4, 2011 5:26 PM

    As far as him having had a few drinks…. unless he took a test for alcohol content, you can’t assume he was drunk nor doing anything wrong. Even some of the most religious non-drinkers feel the need to drink a little on flights to calm their nerves.

  24. halo81 says: Jun 4, 2011 5:53 PM

    @Edgy –

    I knew you were a child and a coward when it came to the recruiting game, but this quote takes the cake from you…

    You are lecturing someone as a former serviceman, (which I heavily doubt you ever were, outside of the coast guard or Air Force Reserves) and after your lecture on sacrifice and honor, you post THIS?

    “Oh and yes, they ARE tight-asses. If you ever had to deal with people in the service like I did for 9 1/2 years, you’d know what I’m talking about.

    Had to deal with? Stop your crying Nancy.

    I deal with members everything from regular Army, Navy and Marines to Force Recon, Rangers and DEVGRU regularly and never had I heard such a sniveling vag in my life.

    Grow up.

  25. lucky5934 says: Jun 4, 2011 5:57 PM


    You are making an assumption once again! Let me reiterate this for you one more time. You have NO PROOF that he was drunk. Nor does that justify three professionally trained bodyguards triple teaming an average sized man. I am sorry you can not get this through your thick brain. Instead we have to listen to you make assumptions to support your unsupported stance.

  26. edgy is under THEE Thumb! says: Jun 5, 2011 9:51 AM

    edgy = noballsnonuts

    The Rangers have an applicable term for you – “f**ked up as a soup sandwich”

    You’ve gone head and shoulders above your typical idiotic comments on this one. And you just couldn’t help your “edgy” self by coming back spewing more ignorant edgyisms.

    The thumbs don’t lie edgy – get a clue and stop sticking your foot in your cyber mouth; then again since your head is always up your 4th point of contact (a military term) your mouth and feet are pretty close together already.

    glenngr12 – you are living proof you don’t have to be drunk to act like an ass.

  27. ndnut says: Jun 5, 2011 10:59 AM

    @edgy is under THEE Thumb

    You have no proof glengr12 wasn’t drunk on all his posts.
    Just sayin’

  28. edgy says: Jun 5, 2011 11:29 AM

    halo81 says:


    I’ve got the honorable discharge to prove it, buckwheat and dealing with the enlisted is NOT the same as the people who run the service academy. Like the guy who runs the AF academy, who has been reported more than once by students for what they feel is intolerance to those who aren’t Christian OR who are atheists.

    If you’ve spent any time here and actually paid attention, you’d know that I am not the most tolerant when it comes to people who are critical of the military but I also don’t suffer fools like this. Frankly, if he needed to have few drinks to get on the plane (a convenient excuse for many people, military or not) then maybe he should have asked for an extra day and taken a bus. I’m not excusing guys that did this but he should have known better than to get into an incident and this goes a long ways into undermining HIS credibility because if he were to stand there and lecture one of his men about something like this, don’t you think that they’d be thinking “Yeah, like you did with that ‘LaBelle’ incident?”

    I still don’t give a rat’s buckeyeboy about the thumbs up or down.

  29. kaelasdad says: Jun 5, 2011 3:57 PM

    Ok, as i see, with my own eyes–a guy who is talking on a cell phone, going to the staging area and then getting shoved by a dude. Then–like ANYONE of us would do, you either tell him to screw off or push him back–still with your cell phone occupying one hand. Then 3 dudes kick his ass. I dont care is you are Mike tyson–if you are not looking for a fight, and your attention is diverted, and youve only got one hand free, and 3 guys go after you–you get your ass kicked. Even if the guy had a few drinks on the plane–check his approach–he isnt falling down or swerving-only after his head hits a frikking concrete pillar–and he has a history of concussions? Pay attention people–and WEST frikking POINT-your guy was blindsided by thugs –how about standing up for him? Celebrities or wanna be Celebrities are not gods–and videos help alot. I hope this kid doesnt get shot when he should have been playing football instead–simply because an old woman had thugs under her control. Also–to the amazingly dumbass military reply of “yeah, like you did with that LaBelle incident”–what a douche–like he wouldnt get his ass handed to him exactly the same way–blindsided when you are not looking for trouble–yeah–maybe superman could have withstood the attack–or you dumbass Halo dude. what a douche

  30. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Jun 5, 2011 3:59 PM

    Who the hell cares if he had a few drinks tbh. The video does not show him doing ANYTHING to warrant the beating.

    The whole drinking age pisses me off anyway, especially when it comes to our military men and women. If at 18 they are old enough to sign up and be shipped off to combat then they are old enough to drink in my book.

    We could stand more alcohol education at a younger age. I’m not talking about health class and the videos of drunk kids dying on the freeway, but rather a social upbringing of responsible alcohol use.

    As it is I am more scared of a 16 year old behind the wheel of a car than I am of a 19 year old who is drunk.

  31. edgy says: Jun 6, 2011 12:10 AM

    What makes me laugh is how you guys are trying to turn my conversation around to make it seem as if I’m bashing the military when I’m actually defending it (and you can look at several messages from others to see what REAL bashing is because they’re giving the Army crap for what they did).. Under normal circumstances, they’d probably give the guy a medal for what happened with a liberal like LaBelle but because of the fact that he had a few drinks in him, he lost his moral standing. I guarantee you that if he had been stone cold sober and they had done this, not only would he still be at West Point but they’d put together an entire legal team to help him with his case and the Army would put its entire PR department in gear to turn public sympathy against her.

    FYI, the military is more conservative than the general population with the officers more conservative than the enlisted and the older officers and enlisted being the most conservative of them all. This is not a generalization, this is the absolute truth.

  32. couldntthinkofaname says: Jun 6, 2011 11:53 AM

    stairwayto7 says: Jun 4, 2011 4:05 PM

    Would this be on FOX, CNN, NBC, CBS and ABC if a white bodyguard had beaten up a black cadet? Where is Jeese Jackson and Al Sharpton to help out a black man getting a beat down?????


    Uh, yeah. It’d be getting far more coverage than it is now. Nice try, race baiter.

  33. abrellbama says: Jun 6, 2011 2:20 PM

    Patti LaBelle should be ashamed of herself. Standing too close to someone’s luggage my foot. Mr. King is one of the people that afford’s Patti LaBelle the freedom to roam around this Great United States. If you watch the beginning of the tape, it looked like Mr. King wasn’t even aware of being near anything. Then he was shoved and he shoved back and then 3 guards pummel him and hit his head on concrete. You would stumble around and not be able to get up if you had a head concussion. Did you see Tim Tebow when he was knocked out at the Kentucky game? No, I hope Mr. King wins his lawsuit and shows Ms. LaBelle what she so much takes for granted. HER FREEDOM.

  34. gladenole says: Jun 6, 2011 9:47 PM

    La Belle is a piece of crap. This isn’t the first time see has thought she was something special. Her bodyguards(not saying these) have had run ins with people before for no apparent reason.

    Her day will come. She will reap what she sows.

  35. tominma says: Jun 7, 2011 8:28 PM

    This kid was attacked, pure and simple. And if the police looked at the video, as Im sure they did, it’s amazing criminal assault charges were not filed! If this kid had that many concussions and the thug damaged him more, the consequences should be very severe for his attackers!

    PS…. I think the Army screwed up with their punishment.

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