Police probe Barkley altercation

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Police in Scottsdale, Ariz. are investigating a complaint that Phoenix Suns forward Charles Barkley punched a man during a nightclub altercation early Thursday morning.

Edward Durham, of Glendale, claims that Barkley assaulted him by punching him in the face, according to Scottsdale police.


Barkley addressed the media briefly after a team practice on Thursday.

'I'll always defend myself mentally or physically,' Barkley said. 'Just because I'm Charles Barkley, I don't have to take crap off people. That's it.'

Barkley was approached by Durham in 'Stixx,' a Scottsdale bar, at approximately 3:15 a.m. EST after the Suns player allegedly used obscenities to a female companion of Durham after she approached the Suns player, according to Scottsdale police.

As he approached Barkley, Durham said he should 'not speak that way to the lady,' according to a Scottsdale police press report.

Barkley then proceeded to throw obscenities at Durham, who also replied with obscenities. Barkley approached Durham and was restrained by a an employee of the bar but managed to punch the 36-year-old Durham. Durham was ready to retaliate but was restrained by a disc-jockey of the nightclub.


Barkley was escorted out of the bar before police arrived on the scene.

The Suns were notified of Durham's report. A Suns spokesman refused to comment on the situation.

Barkley was acquitted of breaking a man's nose with a punch in June of 1992. The fight occurred in Milwaukee after a December 22, 1991 game between Barkley's former team, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Milwaukee Bucks. Barkley said he hit the man in self-defense.

Barkley was named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA last season after averaging 25.6 points and 12.2 rebounds per game. The 10-year veteran led the Suns to the NBA Finals, averaging 26.6 points and 13.6 rebounds per game in the playoffs.

The 30-year-old Barkley came into the season averaging 23.5 points and 11.7 rebounds per game in his pro career. The 30-year-old Barkley is averaging 29.0 points and 13.3 rebounds per game in six contests this season.

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