Cadet Suspended from West Point after getting beaten by Singers entourage

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by falconfamily, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. falconfamily

    falconfamily Member

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    Th Houston police have alot of explaining to do - there is raw video on this link from the Airport cams -and there is no excuse for what Ms. LaBelle entourage did to this kid. To compound matters, the Houston PD - after posing for pictures with LaBelle, calls Westpoint to tell them about the incident and Mr. King gets suspended based upon LaBelle's testimony that Mr. King started the altercation and was drunk.

    Note that at the start of the video King was on the phone, LaBelle's luggage handler moved next to and in front of him. King seems preoccupied with his phone call and the luggage handler pushes him, King reacts by extending his arm and is then struck in the face by a third party coming at him from the side. Then all three of LaBelle's entourage drive this kid backwards and into a stone column where he sustains a severe concussion. Why the Houston police never bothered to check LaBelle's story with the airport surveillance video is a mystery to anyone with a brain.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7592273.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  2. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    I hope this goes viral. No excuse. Pathetic. I've been in that pick-up area many, many times traveling home. I'm going to be more vigilant considering the absolute apathy of the security and (knowing there are always police cars nearby) lack of officer reaction. Disgusting.
     
  3. falconfamily

    falconfamily Member

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    Given there is no audio so there is no way to know if anything is being said prior to the assault. But it seems that King (In the yellow shirt) is not even aware of the baggage handler and is intently speaking on the phone. When King was bumped and punched he was still holding the phone next to his ear - not the actions of an instigator.

    Unless there is any incidence of behavior from King in the past at West Point that might support the idea of a suspension, I would think that the USMA would find cause to reevaluate the story told them by the Houston PD.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    It has already gone viral. It was all over the morning news, and is on Drudge.

    LaBelle's camp is saying he was intoxicated and sticking to it.

    I have to ask why on earth she needed that much protection or entourage, I am old enough to remember hew hey day and I don't think anyone would be able to pick her out in a line up now. Honestly, if you walked passed her on a street would you even know she was famous?
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    It certainly wouldn't be the first time a cadet got drunk and in a fight. The lack of audio and video for part of the altercation doesn't help. I've been to a number of bars in a number of ports (like many on a ship). I've never been in a fight. I've never been close to being in a fight. There's a way to defuse situation, and there is a way to escalate them. I'd be interested in seeing what happens, but I have my doubts that an innocent cadet was standing at a pick up area, in the light, and was jump for no reason by "security." I'm not saying I know he didn't anything, I'm just not willing to say I know he didn't do anything.
     
  6. falconfamily

    falconfamily Member

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    It really wasn't a fight, a fight requires some sort of combat between parties. This is more of a mugging. Body language is key here - at what point did King advance towards anyone or act intoxicated? Watch the video from beginning to end and it is hard to figure out what led to this beat down by LaBelle's entourage. At the point that the luggage handler chest bumped King it looked like he was moving away from the luggage and had his back to the LaBelle crew. When pushed, King looked like he extended his arm and pushed back or was simply fending the person off, and was immediately struck by a person coming in from the side. Regardless of what was said or not said, it seems that this response was uncalled for.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    There is an update on Drudge. http://www.khou.com/entertainment/W...sault-at-Bush-Intercontinental-123053433.html

    This story is getting worse.

    If I am reading this right, giving the benefit of doubt to King, LaBelle just crushed a cadet not only physically, but emotionally too.

    If I was on the jury he would get money from me. Let's be real, the kid wasn't even born yet when she was on top, and probably never saw the show Different World, where she was Dwayne Wayne's mom. Get 40 something olds on the jury with 20 yr old kids, and King will win! Seriously, I dare you all to do a line up and pick her out.
     
  8. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    What I don’t understand is that the limo driver said that he was struck by King when he asked King to move for the luggage guys… Where’s the video to that? Also if he had a couple of drinks at the Airport where’s the video of that? If they wanted to and they took the time they could re-trace his steps to corroborate everyone’s stories.:confused:
     
  9. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 D-USAFA '15

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    The video presents no evidence that the cadet was intoxicated. In order to be guilty of public intoxication in Texas, which is a misdemeanor, a peace officer must prove that the defendant was intoxicated to the point of "being a danger to himself or others." The cadet did not appear to be in any duress and was not attracting any attention to himself until he was attacked. He certainly wasn't falling down until he was hit. The article does not mention if he was charged by the Houston police. He probably was not. Watching the video it is painfully obvious that the bodyguard makes first contact with the cadet. Under Texas law that that is considered provacative physical contact. He can now defend himself and it appears that all he did was push the bodyguard away from him. The assault laws in Texas are very reactive. The worse the injury, the more severe the penalty. This kid was the victim of an assault and I hope his attorney gets a police report on file with the HPD.
    Suspending this kid was a terrible decision by the school. I hope the Houston police took sworn statements from those "bodyguards" and compare their statements with the video. Perjury is a felony in Texas.
    I have been a Texas cop for over 30 years and I am appalled by the video and by the knee-jerk reation of the academy. I wish this case was assigned to me for investigation.
    I learned a long time ago in this business. A strong offense is better than a weak defense and the LaBelle team was controlling the ball.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  10. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Hopefully the academy will reconsider. The report and video does not show anything that would warrant him being suspended. The man never threw a punch and doesn't appear drunk. Maybe there is more to the story but it appears that the Labelle entourage should be on the receiving end of any discipline.
     
  11. DHinNH

    DHinNH USMA 1989

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    Isn't being appalled a knee-jerk reaction?

    Do we know it was a knee-jerk reaction by the academy? This happened in March, and there is no indication of when disciplinary action was taken.

    It will be a long time before the public has enough information to determine the appropriateness of any USMA disciplinary action -- if we ever do. The parties involved in the lawsuit certainly aren't going to talk and no one at USMA is going to talk about matters which involve the privacy of a cadet.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Excellent point. Airports are filled with eyes in the sky. Why hasn't LaBelle's camp show him exiting a bar? Why hasn't there been a report that he was drunk on his flight?
     
  13. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    If I ran into Patty, I'd have NO IDEA.... Tom Petty, Billy Joel, yes.....Patty....not a clue.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I think that is the point LITS. Even 40 yo wouldn't recognize her, why on earth would they think a 20 yo was stalking her?

    As I keep saying, I bet if you took a photo array with her in it and passed it around at WP, you might get 0.05% to say, she is someone famous from a long time ago. I just can't remember her name.

    Off topic, but on topic the other news was Bono was hitch hiking in Canada. A Ice Hockey player picked him up on the road...his GF said that isn't BONO! It was!

    Pretty sure Bono is more recognizable than Ms. LaBelle to a 20 yr old kid, and even he was not recognized.

    Maybe Ms. Labelle should order the tee shirt that Real Housewives of NY made famous. "Thugs in a cocktail dress". 50% of the proceeds go to an NPF organization.

    OBTW, everyone would recognize Tom Petty, he is scary looking!
     
  15. falconfamily

    falconfamily Member

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    I don't think anyone is being too critical of the USMA. They were contacted by law enforcement and told that one of their cadets was drunk and started a public altercation where he sustained an injury that will impact his activities as a cadet. Those sort of things will start a chain of events that the academy is obligated to act upon. The real fault lies in the conduct of the Houston PD officers on the scene who never bothered to check surveillence videos which might have brought into question the LaBelle camp's version of events. If I were the Houston PD supervisor who contacted the academy based upon this incomplete or erroneous report from my officers, someone's backside would be on the docket.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    falcon,

    Honestly, I don't think that the HPD even envisioned this would get national recognition, carried by, Drudge, CNN, Fox and every morning show. That night they thought it would be swept away because, let's face it many Americans don't realize WP isn't a college, it is a military institute.

    I am sure currently, they are saying Oh Crap, you are telling me the media has pics of our officers posing with Patti Labelle during the incident? The incident I now have to explain to the media why a cadet for the Army, one of the most prestigious schools in the country, who is willing to fight in Afghanistan, got pummeled by Ms. Labelle's entourage and my PD decided to take pictures with her?

    Question, does anyone know if he is suing the HPD?

    If he is, the reality is the HPD chief is probably also out of a job based on the national coverage of this incident.

    Seriously, in my next life I am going to come back as a fly, just to be in the room and hear how situations like this get spun. Imagine, there is a PR person, and now they are sitting with the Chief, and Mayor of how they will spin it to the media when there are pictures of him in his bloody yellow polo and being thrown like a rag doll against a concrete poll. Yep, he looked to me like he was attacking them brutally...not!

    This will settle out of court. The Mayor may pay the price in re-election. The Chief will be gone. Welcome to the world. Sad part is Patti Labelle will go on, and nobody will ever remember it, not even her!
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  17. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    LaBelle and her goons are a real ‘class act’ aren’t they?..:rolleyes:

    Even if the kid was inebriated, there’s no excuse for the level of violence directed at him.. Had he been in uniform, those mokes probably would have been falling all over themselves to get out of his way, all while thanking him for “his service to his country”.. LaBelle and her ‘entourage’ are just disgusting.:thumbdown:
     
  18. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 D-USAFA '15

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    Could you imagine the reaction of the LaBelle camp when they found out this kid's background? I would love to compare it to the background history of the "bodyguards." I guar-an-tee that there was an "OH NO" moment. (I cleaned that up for this forum.) This is the type of assault case dreams are made of. High quality video and an unimpeachable witness/victim.

    Cadet's attorney - "Young man, can you tell us if you have ever been in trouble before?"
    Cadet - "No sir, I am an honor student, varsity athlete, active in my church and the community and attending a service academy."
    He could probably add lots more.

    Hopefully LaBelle will come to her senses and apologize, take care of the kids bills and see to it that he gets back in the academy where he belongs.

    It never ceases to amaze me how your life can be changed in an instant when you are just minding your own business.

    DHinNH - I think that you are missing my point about my "Knee-jerk reaction statement." The cadet has apparently NOT been charged with an offense. In my opinion the HPD had no business talking to WP when the kid has not been charged with a crime. You can't have it both ways. If a cop thinks you have no defense to a public intoxication charge you go to jail. You don't let people that are a "danger" wander off because they are now your responsibility. It is not against the law in Texas to have alcohol on your breath or to being drunk without the caveat of "danger to yourself or others." I also don't think that LaBelle is qualified to make a determination of intoxication unless she has some law enforcement type training. Sorry but this whole thing stinks.

    Is my being appalled a "knee-jek reaction?" You're probably right. However I would like you to see my knee-jerk reaction through my eyes. I typically work 60-80 cases a month. If we are lucky enough to arrest someone he/she will be out of custody long before his/her victims have picked up the pieces of their lives and this kid is a victim anyway you look at him.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  19. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Kid has no bills, all of his care is paid for by the tax payer.

    Do we know anything about his background? What if the answer is "I' have an honor offense and a conduct offense, I like playing sports. Not sure if I want to be in the Army... etc etc etc."

    Is this the first trouble he's ever been in? I'd love to know that.

    If he was in uniform, this would never happen, I agree.

    This will get a day or two of media coverage, then it's over...might echo in smaller markets or news rooms maybe on Entertainment TV or E! News, but this story is dead in a day.
     
  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    JMC, you missed:

    Cadet King can you tell the jury how you became a cadet at WP?

    Yes, I was appointed by MOC XYZ. I was one in a slate of 10 that MOC XYZ could nominate out of XXXX applicants from my state. I had the highest score, thus I won the appointment for my MOC.

    The WP admission pool starts around 16K, and is whittled down to 1600. The graduation class I started with has decreased by @25%.

    Yeah that won't impact the jury on how they perceive King! Not.

    LaBelle needs to settle tonight. Otherwise, King's attorney can start showing how WP grads make O-10, are on boards of Fortune 500 companies, and that because of her goons, his career was hurt.

    I would have no problem giving punitive damages to him based on what I just posed, and I am not an attorney.

    HPD better hope she settles and they get him back at WP, because again if I was a juror, I would also give damages re:HPD.

    LITS, we are in the day and age of eye in the sky. Patti's team is all over it, and since no news has come out negative about this kid, it should tell you that they can't find dirt. That means nobody on his flight, nobody in the airport, nobody. Additionally, HPD would be all over it to discredit him, but they are silent. Drudge has not updated anything.

    I understand the benefit of the doubt, but any person who can afford to have an entourage, can afford to have a PR team. It was on Good Morning America, video and all. It was on MSNBC, video and all. It was on Fox, and is on Drudge, plus Comcast. It is everywhere. Labelle's camp is silent, they are that way because as you stated they can't find dirt.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011

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