Cadet in LaBelle guard tussle back at West Point

August 18, 2011 5:42:47 PM PDT
Cadet Richard King was kicked out of West Point after the assault involving singer Patti LaBelle's bodyguards. But West Point Military Academy has now told King to get back to class, and on Thursday he followed orders. He spoke only to Eyewitness News just before boarding a plane.

For Richard King, it was a call that has changed his life and it happened Wednesday night.

King told us, "I was really surprised. I mean, I didn't expect to get reinstated."

King, 23, has spent the past five months not knowing if he would return to West Point. He was kicked out after an incident at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport in March. Surveillance video shows he was talking on a cell phone when he was beaten by members of soul singer Patti LaBelle's entourage.

A resulting Houston police report indicated King was the aggressor and a threat to LaBelle. King was kicked out of West Point after the altercation. However, a letter was sent last week to West Point by Houston police saying an Internal Affairs investigation revealed Cadet Richard King is not a suspect nor considered to have committed any illegal acts. The report also said no determination could be made whether King was intoxicated, a claim originally made by LaBelle's camp.

Ten days later, King was reinstated.

"I feel great," he said. "I mean, it's a good feeling to go back to school and do what I wanted to do since the beginning."

King admits he wasn't optimistic West Point would reverse their decision.

"For it to happen to me, it's almost a miracle, in a way, and definitely something I'm not going to take for granted," King said.

King will spend Friday registering and preparing to join his senior class. He is expected to attend classes beginning on Monday.

Two members of LaBelle's entourage have been charged with criminal assault.

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