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Darius Walker the millionaire? Already? Believe it!

BG Tom1

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Per the associated press: The story goes Walker while a junior in high school went to the movies with friends and for some reason was left out in front of the movie theatre for a few miuntes alone. Walker was the only African American standing in a crowd of white folks. When the security guard spotted Walker he approached him and asked for his ticket. Supposedly when Walker could'nt retrieve his ticket he was arrested??? Later Walkers ticket was retrieved from his pocket!!! Walkers family sued the movie theatre and the security guard asking for $300,000.00. Walker got that and then some. He was awarded $3,000,000.00. The most amazing part of the whole ordeal was Walker didnt and still doesnt harbor any hard feelings over the incident towards anyone! Dont know if I could say the same if that happened to myself or a friend of mine but because im white ill probably never experience anything like that!

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Millions didn't change Darius



Tribune Staff Writer


His first sampling of the spotlight tasted like concrete.


Notre Dame running back Darius Walker was a seventh-grader at the time -- seven years ago -- to the day. He was standing outside a movie theater in Lawrenceville, Ga., just having taken in the film "She's All That", when his world was capsized.


Legal constraints prohibit Walker and his family from talking about the incident now, according to the Irish sophomore's mother, Laverne, but Walker's first fling with being a public figure is captured in the recently released book "Signing Day: An inside look at the high-pressure, high-stakes world of college football recruiting."



Actually, the incident in which a 13-year-old Walker was singled out of a crowd because of his skin color, thrown to the ground by a security guard, then choked and handcuffed had nothing to do with his actual recruitment by Notre Dame and dozens of other schools. But co-author Corey Clark decided to include it to show how unaffected the black model citizen and model student remains to this day from both the ugliness of the incident and the subsequent $3 million jury award from a civil lawsuit.


"You'd think when something happens that's that traumatic when you're 13, it might change your whole outlook on things," said Clark, a sports writer for the Gwinnett (Ga.) Daily Post. "But Darius just kept going, kept getting good grades, kept being a star football player and kept being a good person."


And eventually started driving a Mercedes Benz with personalized plates, perhaps one of the few tangible souvenirs, positive or negative, from the ordeal.


It wasn't until early in Walker's junior year at Buford High School in Gwinnett County outside Atlanta that the confrontation gained significant attention. That's when the lawsuit ended and the results of it became public. Interestingly, the Walkers had been asking for only $300,000 in damages.


"In the book, I talk about how his teammates started calling him 'The Million-Dollar Man' for the rest of that season," Clark said. "They gave him a good-natured ribbing about it. And everywhere you went, it seemed like people were talking about it.


"Gwinnett County is a big county. There are 700,000 people and 20 high schools, but a lot of people knew Darius or at least knew of him. A kid winning a $3 million lawsuit is news anywhere. When he's a star football player, it's even more so. But when you know what the kid stands for, that's what made people shake their heads. Here's a straight-A student, a great kid with a great smile, and here's a security guard slamming him to the ground based on the way he looks."


According to reports from the trial, Walker had gone to the movies with three friends on March 5, 1999. He called his mom after the show around 9:30 p.m., and asked her to come pick him up.


Shortly after the call, Laverne Walker received another call from the guard telling her she had her son in custody. Darius Walker was standing out in front of the AMC Colonial 18 Theater by himself, while his friends stayed inside to use the restroom.


The guard approached Walker and asked him for his ticket stub. A car had been broken into in the parking lot earlier in the evening, and the guard, Kevin B. Kellas, then threw Walker to the ground, choked and handcuffed him, according to Laverne's testimony.


Later, when Walker was being detained, he located the ticket stub. Misdemeanor charges (loitering) were filed against Walker but were eventually dismissed. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the family filed suit in neighboring Fulton County, because that's where the movie chain's registered agent is.


Kellas, in a letter posted on the Web site MoreLaw.com, disputes the events and he claims the Georgia Supreme Court reversed the judgment, only to have AMC and the Walkers settle out of court.


"Whether you want to say it or not, it was racial profiling," Clark said. "The fact that Darius was still so nice and warm and warm-hearted to anyone of any color, I think it's really incredible after what he'd been through."


And he's just as driven and just as focused and just as seemingly immune to pressure as he ever was, which should come in handy in 17 days when spring football practice at Notre Dame commences and freshman James Aldridge provides Walker with a healthy shot of competition at the running back spot.


"I don't think this incident helped him handle the spotlight better," Clark said. "I think he was going to handle the spotlight well no matter what happened in his life. I think it's just a gift he has, and if you've ever met his parents, that's where it comes from. They're so warm and open. He's got that natural charisma. He could be a politician when he's done with football, or an actor.


"But whatever he does, he's going to be the same, good, genuine person."


"Signing Day" by Corey Clark and Ira Schoffel is available at Borders Bookstores nationwide and at the Web site signingdaybook.com.

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There are two people (in my opinion) that need a huge pat on the back. His parents... Most of us know that they packed up and moved to South Bend to be closer to Darius while he is enrolled at ND. But just seeing them in the stands with those looks on their faces is priceless. They seem like great people and the support they have given their son is the reason he is in the situation that he is now.

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