Charles Barkley was fined Friday and ordered to make community service visits to two children's programs to settle charges filed after he was accused of throwing a bar patron into a mirror.
"I had allowed myself to be provoked by a malicious bar patron, and I realize in hindsight that I compounded the problem by not being initially more cooperative with the officers present," Barkley wrote in a letter of apology to the judge.
The attorney for the Houston Rockets star entered a written no-contest plea on his behalf to a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest without violence in exchange for the dismissal of three, more serious charges.
Barkley, 34, who did not attend the hearing, was ordered to pay $320 in fines and court costs. As part of his sentence, he will visit the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children & Women and Great Oaks Village, a state foster care center.
Orange County Judge Jeffrey Arnold agreed to withhold adjudication of guilt, which leaves Barkley's record clear of a conviction.
Chief Assistant State Attorney Bill Vose agreed in advance to the plea, sentence and dismissal of charges of battery, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief filed after Barkley's arrest Oct. 26.
Barkley told police he was provoked when Jorge Lugo, 20, threw a glass of ice at a table Barkley was sharing with three women at Phineas Phogg's, a bar in Orlando's Church Street Station entertainment complex.
Barkley, who was in town for an exhibition game against the Orlando Magic, chased Lugo to the front of the bar, where an off-duty officer tried to intervene. A police report said the NBA player pulled Lugo from the officer's grasp, picked him up and threw him into a $1,200 mirror, which Barkley has paid to replace.
© 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved