Dwight Gooden, the New York Mets' star right-hander, pleaded no contest Friday to violently resisting arrest and to battery on a police officer, and a judge gave him three years' probation and asked him to perform at least 160 hours of community service.
"I'm happy with the way things turned out. It's probably to my best interest, the way I pleaded," said Gooden, who was stopped after being suspected of a traffic violation and asked for his driver's license in Tampa, Fla., Dec. 13.
The judge, John Griffin of Hillsborough Circuit Court, said there was no plea-bargaining involved in the case. Gooden's attorneys and Griffin agreed that the pitcher would make videos to help recruit black police officers in Tampa and to show young people the dangers of drugs.
Three other defendants in the Gooden incident--including minor league players Garry Sheffield of the Milwaukee Brewers and Vance Lovelace of the Angels--also pleaded no contest and were sentenced to two years' probation.