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“I looked up and saw Barkley holding the victim up in the air by his arms” — when a 5'2" genius tried to start a fight with Charles Barkley

A look back at the time Charles Barkley allegedly threw a man through a glass window at a bar in 1997.
Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley

We all know Charles Barkley, more often than not, walks the talk. Many NBA players act tough on the court, but “Sir Charles” never had to, as he’d just let them have it when they start acting up. Apparently, that had also been the case off the court with Barkley.

Clubbin’ in Orlando

Some may not know, but one thing Barkley did well aside from playing basketball was partying. When he arrived in Houston in 1996, Barkley developed a good friendship with his fellow then-future Hall of Famers, Clyde Drexler, and Hakeem Olajuwon. The bond didn’t end on the court as they partied and chilled in clubs, especially when they were back in training camp for the upcoming season.

On October 25, 1997, Barkley, Drexler, and “five or six young female friends” hit the famous Phineas Phogg’s, a club at Church Street Station in downtown Orlando known for welcoming party-goers from all walks of life. It was preseason, so needless to say; there was no pressure yet. If anything, it was a perfect time to have a good time with a teammate.

Chuck was provoked

Everything was cool, and Barkley and his friends were having some fun. Until one of the club’s patrons Jorge Lugo, a “five-foot-two and 110-pound” construction laborer, decided to kick things up a bit and threw a glass of ice at Barkley and his company.

Trouble was looming, and Gilbert Feliciano, a reggae musician who performed at Phineas Phogg’s that night, recalled one woman in Barkley’s section told the NBA star, “You going to let these motherfu**ers throw ice at you?

She got really upset and said, ‘Screw it, if you’re not going to do s**t, I’m going to do something,’” Feliciano added via Esquire.

Feliciano went on and said Barkley was trying to tell one of the fired-up women that they should just let it slide as “they’re just trying to cause problems.

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Jeffery Williams, an off-duty cop, working at the bar that night, then barged in and handled the situation. However, one of the women kept egging Barkley and was noted publicly challenging him, “You’re not gonna do sh*t. You’re nothing but a big-a** pussy.

Williams grabbed Lugo and assured everybody that everything was under control. But Barkley also assured him that he wasn’t going to harm Lugo.

Charles, I will handle this, let go,” Williams said. “Charles, let me take care of this.

I will not hurt him,” Charles responded. “I just want to talk to him.

Suddenly, Lugo got away. Barkley then had a chance to pounce. At 6-foot-6 and about 250 pounds, it’s not that hard to imagine what happened next.

I felt the victim being pulled from my grasp,” Williams wrote in his account of the incident. “I looked up and saw [Barkley] holding the victim up in the air by his arms.

It is said that Barkley “flung Lugo like he was a toy” and threw him through a glass window before leaving him a parting message:

You got what you deserve,” Charles taunted. “You don’t disrespect me. I hope you’re hurt.

Nowadays, we see Barkley as one of the coolest and funniest dudes on TV, but we should all remember he’s not the guy you would want to mess with.

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