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Charles Oakley's Vegas Assault: Sues Aria, May Quit Coaching

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on June 13, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

According to Charles Oakley, an assault last year in Las Vegas has left his coaching future with the Charlotte Bobcats in jeopardy. He has since sued the Aria Hotel. The lawsuit alleges that the assault led to his back pain.

Oakley, who is 6'9", was punched and handcuffed after an argument with Aria Hotel security. The argument was about whether or not Oakley could return to a VIP area of the hotel pool area.

After the dispute, Oakley was taken to the hospital with injuries to his neck and back. Oakley alleges that the incident led to two slipped disks that has caused in a sciatic nerve condition, reports the AP.

Oakley was a 19-season veteran of the NBA as a power forward. He ranks 20th in NBA history and was a former teammate of famed Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan.

On March 19, his back condition worsened during a game in San Antonio. He had to be carried from the bench due to his sciatic nerve condition, reports the AP. He then missed the Bobcats' final 13 games.

Oakley is now recovered enough to walk and exercise on a stationary bike. Though he had many injuries during his 18-year career with the NBA, he says he has no doubt that his back injury is the result of the hotel security's assault, reports the Charlotte News Observer.

Oakley's lawsuit alleges negligence, assault, assault with excessive force, battery, false imprisonment and defamation.

The allegations of false imprisonment likely stem from the handcuffing of Oakley by security officials. To satisfy a false imprisonment claim, the plaintiff must have been willfully detained without consent, and the detention must be unlawful. There are some privileges to allow for imprisonment by private authorities, like shopkeepers who suspect customers of shoplifting.

The Aria Hotel lawsuit could also end up costing the hotel for the Charles Oakley assault, especially if he finds himself unable to return to his coaching job - and if the court finds that his injures were the result of the assault.

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