Hairston due in court after altercation at Durham YMCA
Posted July 6
Updated July 7
Durham, N.C. — Former University of North Carolina guard and Charlotte Hornets rookie P.J. Hairston was issued a misdemeanor criminal summons Monday, a day after he was involved in an altercation with Northern Durham High School’s Kentrell Barkley at a Durham YMCA.
The summons was taken out by Barkley Monday morning and Hairston was not arrested.
Barkley told WRAL that Hairston had taunted him, stating "he can't go right." Barkley said he responded to Hairson by saying, "I just went right," and then stated he was punched in the head the next time down the court. Barkley added that there was no fight and the punch came "out of nowhere."
"I didn't even swing," Barkley said. "You don't just hit somebody. I see a bump or a push, but hitting somebody, that's different."
According to the summons filed to the Durham County Sherriff's Office, Hairston faces assault and battery after punching Barkley twice in the head during the pick-up basketball game. Barkley is a rising high school senior who has got the attention of East Carolina, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Charlotte and other schools.
Hairston is due in court Aug. 8 to appear in front of a magistrate for the incident. Barkley, as well as another witness, have been ordered to testify at the proceeding.
“I want to apologize to the Hornets organization and our fans for creating this distraction," Hairston said in a statement. "As this is now a legal matter, I cannot comment on the situation any further. I am truly sorry for any embarrassment that I have caused.”
Barkley, 17, denied instigating the confrontation Sunday night, tweeting, "I want to make this clear, I DID NOT HIT PJ OR THROW ANY PUNCHES!" He spoke with WRAL's Julia Sims Monday with a visible mark on his forehead.
According to his agent, Hairston was playing a pick-up game with a group of high schoolers when play got chippy.
"The game got intense. The kid got too excited playing against P.J.," Hairston’s agent Juan Morrow said. “It's getting blown out of proportion because it's P.J., and he's home."
The Hornets offered a statement indicating they were aware of the incident.
“The organization is aware of an incident this afternoon involving P.J. Hairston," the release stated. "We are in the process of gathering additional information and will have no further comment at this time.”
Hairston was also in the news Monday when it was discovered that his vehicle was being driven by NFL wide receiver Josh Gordon when he was stopped early Saturday morning and charged with DWI. Gordon was bonded out of jail later that morning by Haydn "Fats" Thomas, a convicted felon with ties to Hairston.