Charles Barkley was arrested early yesterday for hurling a patron through a plate-glass window in an Orlando bar after the man allegedly tossed a glass of ice at him.
Police said the Rockets star told the victim as he lay bleeding on the ground: "You got what you deserve. You don't respect me. I hope you're hurt."
Jorge Lugo, 20, was treated at a hospital for a minor laceration to his upper right arm.
Barkley was charged with aggravated battery and resisting arrest without violence. He was jailed for five hours before being released on $6,000 bond.
Barkley has been involved in several incidents in bars and nightclubs the past five years. He said he had never met Lugo and that Lugo threw the glass of ice at him unprovoked.
"I'm going to defend myself . . . at all times. I've made that clear in my years in the NBA," Barkley said yesterday afternoon.
The fight took place at Phineas Phogg's bar at Church Street Station, a popular entertainment district in Orlando.
Barkley told police that Lugo threw a glass of ice at him and three women sitting at his table. Barkley chased Lugo to the front of the bar, where an off-duty officer tried to intervene. But Barkley picked up Lugo and threw him through the window.
Barkley was in town for a preseason game against the Magic. MARIJUANA USE RISES: Marijuana smoking and heavy drinking are rampant in the NBA, involving 60 to 70 percent of the players, the New York Times reported.
The estimate is based on statements made by players, former players, agents and basketball executives in more than two dozen interviews. "You don't follow guys home, but just from what you hear, I think it's closer to 70 percent," Magic G Derek Harper said. Marijuana is not covered by the league's substance-abuse policy, which has been in effect without major modifications since 1984.