Knicks and Madison Square Garden owner James Dolan has fired the arena’s top security chief after a bizarre and embarrassing clash with New York legend Charles Oakley on Wednesday that ended with Oakley being led out of the building in handcuffs.
Frank Benedetto was the team’s senior vice president for security at the Madison Square Garden Company until Friday morning, according to a report by the New York neighborhood news source DNAinfo.com.
Oakley was arrested for fighting with the Knicks security members, who were attempting to escort him away from a courtside seat near Dolan and charged him with three counts of third-degree misdemeanor assault.
Oakley said he was minding his own business and was asked to leave anyway, which he refused. The Knicks say Oakley was heckling Dolan and refused to stop when asked, referring to his actions as “abusive” and his story as “pure fiction.”
The Knicks and Oakley had a miserable relationship even before this incident, with Oakley trashing Dolan publicly for years. The Knicks have completely avoided recognizing the beloved fan favorite who spent 10 seasons with the team. Here’s a rundown of their long-standing feud.
Benedetto, the security chief who was fired, was a top U.S. Secret Service official for both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He also has been credited for his security detail at the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago and the 2013 and 2014 Chicago marathon, per his LinkedIn.
Why can’t the Knicks just be boring?