West Point Cadet Sues Singer Patti LaBelle Over Airport Beating
A West Point cadet from Houston has filed a lawsuit against soul singer Patti LaBelle, her bodyguards and Bush Intercontinental Airport, claiming her bodyguards beat him viciously for standing too close to her luggage.
The lawsuit filed by 23 year old West Point senior Richard King claims he was seriously injured by LaBelle’s bodyguards after returning to Houston for spring break back in March.
King says he was so beaten up he woke up the next day in a hospital with staples in his head, unable to remember what had happened.
The lawsuit says King was waiting for his father to pick him up in a passenger pickup area outside the terminal, when LaBelle and her entourage walked past him to a stretch limo.
King says he was standing near LaBelle's luggage, with his back to her limo, talking on his phone, when she apparently decided he was too close and told her bodyguards to move him away. The lawsuit says the bodyguards attacked King and hit him in the face until he fell and hit his head on a concrete pillar.
King's attorney released airport security video that appears to support the charges, but LaBelle's bodyguards say the video doesn't show everything that happened. The HPD report quotes the guards as saying King was drunk and attacked them, and they were protecting LaBelle and themselves.
Cadet King says because of erroneous information from Houston Police, West Point has suspended him for at least a year. During that time he will go on active duty as an enlisted man and he could be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. If he makes it through his tour of duty he will be allowed to reapply to West Point.