Barkley Reportedly Reaches Settlement with Bar Patron

By Jeffrey C. Billman
Posted Friday December 5, 1997

Charles Barkley, all-star forward for the Houston Rockets, has reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement with the man he was accused of throwing through a bar window in Orlando, Florida.

The lawyer for Jorge Lugo, who got into an argument with Barkley on October 26th and ended up going through a plate-glass window at Church Street Station, told the Orlando Sentinel that he was unable to disclose terms of the agreement.

"There's been an amicable resolution of the civil case," said attorney Mark NeJame of Orlando. "Basically, my client signed a declination of prosecution."

The Sentinel is reporting in today's editions that NeJame said Lugo signed the agreement a few week's ago. Orlando police had recommended on November 13th that Lugo should be charged with battery after witnesses said the 20-year-old had tossed a glass of ice at one of Barkley's friends.

Early on October 26th in Orlando, Florida, Barkley was charged with aggravated battery and resisting arrest without violence after allegedly throwing Lugo through a window. He has said he was responding to the man throwing a drink on him.

Barkley was released on $6,000 bond and played that night in an exhibition game.

Randy Means, a spokesman for the State Attorney's Office, told the Sentinel that his office would make a decision next week ehether to file formal charges against Barkley.

Barkley has had a handful of run-ins with the law, with this being his second this year. On August 1st, a Cleveland jury ruled in favor of him after Barkley was accused of attacking a man in a nightclub.

Lugo has also run afoul with the law, getting arrested twice this year by Orlando police. On September 9th, he was released after serving more than three months on drug-related charges. And served another night in early October after being charged with carrying an open container of alcohol.

The 34-year-old Barkley is playing his second season with the Rockets after being acquired for four players in August 1996. He was limited to just 53 games last season due to injury, but averaged 19.2 points, 13.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists as Houston finished 57-25 and advanced to the Western Conference Finals.

A perennial All-Star, Barkley spent eight seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers and four more with the Phoenix Suns, forcing trades out of both cities.

In the 1992-93 campaign, Barkley averaged 25.6 points, 12.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists, leading the Suns to the NBA Finals and winning the Most Valuable Player award. He is one of just 10 players in history to record 20,000 points and 10,000 rebounds in his career.