We all know Charles Barkley as the funny guy who says what's on his mind on Inside the NBA, and a Hall of Famer who could outrebound anyone. Rarely do you think of Charles Barkley as an enforcer, but Sir Charles has a record a lot tougher NBA players would not be ashamed of.
In 1991 Barkley was arrested in Milwaukee for getting into a fight with a weight lifter and 2 of his friends. As he was outnumbered, Barkley took his clothes off in the snow, hoping the guys would think he's crazy and leave him alone. He added a Karate Kid impersonation to spice the performance up. It didn't work, and Barkley ended up in jail.
Sir Charles didn't learn his lesson and ended up in jail again in 1997. While working a shif at a nightspot, an off-duty police officer saw Charles Barkley chasing a man. The officer grabbed the man, Jorge Lugo, and told Barkley to stay away. Barkley said he just wanted to talk to him, and that he wouldn't hurt him. The officer went to radio for assistance when Barkley managed to grab Lugo.
“I looked up and saw the arrestee [Barkley] holding the victim [Lugo] up in the air by his arms, at which time the arrestee threw the victim into a plate-glass window.”
Jeffery Williams, off-duty officer working the nightspot
As told by Barkley and other witnesses, Barkley, Drexler, and others went to Phineas Phoggs, a bar in Church Street Station in Orlando, Florida. A man started provoking them, and a woman that was with the group, Karen Carrington, tried to confront him, but Barkley told her to ignore him as the man just wanted to start trouble.
Then a cup of ice flew towards them, hit Carrington in the face and knocking her off her chair. That's when Barkley decided to step in, and it ended with Lugo going through the window. Multiple witnesses said they saw Lugo throw the cup of ice, while Lugo denied it. The next day, the judge asked Barkley if he had any regrets.
“Yeah, I regret we were on the first floor.”
Lugo, 5'2 and 110 pounds had a laceration on his arm and later claimed he had severe head pain. They settled the case out of court. Barkley had a few more altercations outside of the basketball court and settled all of them because he said he couldn't trust the judicial system. When asked about the Lugo incident by reporters, Barkley was quite clear.
“I’m always a target, but I’ll never back down. The public does not have a right to do things to you. If you bother me, I’m going to whip your ass. The guy threw ice in my face, and I slammed his ass into the window. I’m not denying that. I defended myself. He got what he deserved.”
After his retirement, Sir Charles said he was wrong to react as he did and that he was happy no-one was permanatly injured in any of the altrecations.