1. #1
    Illusion
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    Gooden left after refusing to take a sobriety test

    TAMPA, Fla. -- Former baseball star Dwight Gooden was being sought by police Tuesday on a felony warrant after he allegedly drove away from an officer who stopped him on suspicion of drunken driving.

    Gooden, 41, left the scene of the traffic stop early Monday after refusing to get out his 2004 BMW to take a field sobriety test, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.

    The officer stopped Gooden's car because he was weaving in traffic near downtown Tampa, McElroy said. Gooden, a Tampa native and resident, has a history of drug abuse and is awaiting trial on a domestic violence charge.

    "The officer pulls over the car and immediately notices that the driver is under the influence," she said. "He has bloodshot, glassy eyes, his speech is slurred and he has a strong odor of alcohol."

    Gooden handed the officer his driver's license but refused two requests to get out of the car, McElroy said. He then drove off with the officer still holding his license.

    Police chose not pursue for safety reasons, McElroy said, but went to his two known addresses to look for him. They also contacted his most recent employer, the New York Yankees, and his mother, she said.

    Yankees spokesman Howard Grosswirth said Tuesday that Gooden hasn't worked for the team as a special adviser since April and officials don't know his whereabouts.

    Gooden, who was out of jail on bail after a March domestic violence arrest, is wanted on felony charges of DUI and fleeing police, and a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest without violence.

    "At this point he is in a lot of trouble, and the only way he can help himself is to come forward and take responsibility for his actions," McElroy said.

    Gooden, the 1984 Rookie of the Year and the 1985 NL Cy Young Award winner while with the New York Mets, went 194-112 with a 3.51 ERA before retiring in 2001. He also pitched for the Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

    Gooden was arrested by Tampa police in 2002 on a drunken driving charge, but later pleaded guilty to reckless driving and received a year probation. He was arrested in March and charged with hitting his live-in girlfriend in the face during an argument. He was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery, and the case is pending.

    A call to Peter Hobson, the attorney representing Gooden in the domestic violence case, was not immediately returned Tuesday.

    During his playing days, Gooden was suspended for 60 days in 1994 for testing positive for cocaine while with the Mets. He tested positive for cocaine again while on suspension and was sidelined for the 1995 season.

    Earlier this month his son, Dwight Gooden Jr., 19, was jailed for violating his probation for cocaine possession. Police said they found marijuana and bullets in the younger Gooden's vehicle parked outside a nightclub.

    Gooden's disappearance is reminiscent of the 2001 disappearance of his friend and former teammate Darryl Strawberry, who was missing for four days after he walked away from a drug treatment center where he was under house arrest.

  2. #2
    Illusion
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    Gooden arrested after turning self in on felony charges

    TAMPA, Fla. -- Former baseball star Dwight Gooden, sought by police since he fled a DUI traffic stop three days ago, turned himself in at a county jail Thursday, police said.

    Gooden, 40, showed up at the jail around 5 p.m., police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said. He had been missing since early Monday, when an officer pulled over his 2004 BMW near downtown Tampa on suspicion of drunken driving. He twice refused to get out of the car for a field sobriety test and then drove away suddenly.

    Gooden, who has a history of substance abuse and currently has a domestic violence charge pending in the court, was booked on a felony charge of fleeing police and misdemeanor charges of DUI and resisting arrest without violence.

    He is scheduled to appear in court Friday morning for a hearing to revoke his bond on the March domestic violence charge, McElroy said.

    Police looking for Gooden had talked to his attorney, Peter Hobson, on Wednesday, but he did not indicate that he knew where Gooden was or that he wanted to surrender, McElroy said. McElroy said she didn't know where the former major-leaguer had been.

    The 1984 rookie of the year and the 1985 NL Cy Young Award winner while with the Mets, Gooden went 194-112 with a 3.51 ERA before retiring in 2001. He also pitched for the Yankees, Indians, Astros and Devil Rays.

  3. #3
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    Gooden to be held until October hearing on charges

    TAMPA, Fla. -- Dwight Gooden will be jailed without bail until an October hearing, a judge ruled Friday, three days after the former star pitcher fled police during a DUI traffic stop.
    Gooden, dressed in an orange jail outfit and shackled at the wrists and ankles, looked gaunt in court as he was flanked by his mother and lawyer. He didn't speak during the brief hearing except to acknowledge the judge's questions with a "yes, sir" or "no, sir."

    State Circuit Judge Nick Nazaretian approved an agreement between both sides that will allow the former All-Star to enter a secured substance abuse treatment facility if a bed becomes available. Gooden also has a March domestic violence charge pending with the court.

    Gooden's attorney, Peter Hobson, would not say where the 40-year-old Tampa native had been or what he had been doing since driving away from the officer near downtown at about 2:40 a.m. Monday. The lawyer asked for privacy for Gooden and his family.

    "I'm glad he's safe," New York Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "When someone's hiding out you never know how desperate they become."

    Gooden appeared in court for the first time since surrendering to police Thursday. He had been missing since speeding away from an officer who stopped him on suspicion of drunken driving early Monday.

    Nazaretian set an Oct. 25 hearing on the latest charges, which include a felony count of fleeing police and misdemeanor charges of DUI and resisting arrest without violence.

    Gooden was pulled over in his 2004 BMW for driving erratically, police said. Slurring his words and smelling of alcohol, he twice refused to get out of the car for a field sobriety test and bolted while the officer was still holding his driver's license, police said.

    Investigators had been talking to Hobson all week about his client's surrender but were surprised when the two turned up at a Hillsborough County jail Thursday afternoon.

    "I think it's clear that he recognizes he needs help," said prosecutor Pam Bondi, who agreed to let Gooden try to get into treatment for "evaluation of an alcohol and/or drug problem."

    The attorneys said it wasn't clear if or when space would become available for Gooden.

    These latest developments mean both Gooden and his 19-year-old son, Dwight Jr., are in jail. The younger Gooden was arrested this month for violating his probation on a cocaine possession conviction and faces additional charges after police said they found marijuana and bullets in his car parked outside a nightclub.

    Nazaretian commended the elder Gooden for turning himself in, saying "if police had picked you up, we wouldn't be talking right now."

    "That's the first sign toward getting things better in your life," the judge told him. "I hope you can turn this around."

    Gooden, the 1984 rookie of the year and 1985 NL Cy Young Award winner while with the Mets, went 194-112 with a 3.51 ERA before retiring in 2001. He also pitched for the Yankees, Indians, Astros and Devil Rays.

    Gooden was arrested by Tampa police in 2002 on a drunken driving charge but later pleaded guilty to reckless driving and received a year's probation. He was arrested in March and charged with hitting his live-in girlfriend in the face during an argument. Bondi said Gooden most likely would negotiate a plea deal on the domestic violence charge.

    "My prayers are with my uncle," Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield said in a statement released by the team. "I pray that he will seek and receive the help he so desperately needs."

    During his playing days, Gooden was suspended for 60 days in 1994 for testing positive for cocaine while with the Mets. He tested positive for cocaine again while on suspension and was sidelined for the 1995 season. He recently worked for the Yankees as a special adviser but quit in April.

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