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Charter Oak's Graham Arrested : Prep football: Running back charged Wednesday with suspicion of receiving stolen property, then plays Friday. His coach says he is innocent.

November 27, 1994|MARK STRODER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Covina Charter Oak High running back Michael Graham was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with suspicion of receiving stolen property, The Times has learned.

Graham, 16, was arrested on the Charter Oak campus at 11:48 a.m., a spokesperson for the Covina Police Department said. He was released Wednesday in the custody of his parents. Police said the case will be forwarded to the Los Angeles County Juvenile Probation Department for further investigation.

Graham, a junior who has rushed for 2,266 yards and 30 touchdowns this season, played in the Chargers' Southern Section Division VI second-round playoff game against La Verne Damien Friday night and rushed for 202 yards in 27 carries.

Charter Oak Coach Louis Farrar was approached by a reporter before his team's game Friday, but denied the charge against Graham. Farrar later confirmed Graham's arrest but said his player was innocent.

"What happened was a real problem, and our superintendent and principal quickly handled the situation," Farrar said after the Chargers' 33-14 victory. "I think this was all a big mistake and he'll be proven clean in the next couple of months.

"Michael isn't the only person involved here."

Covina police confirmed that another male, age 16, was also arrested Wednesday at Charter Oak and charged with suspicion of receiving stolen property.

Graham's parents, Leanzo and Lucinda, both refused to comment on the case Saturday morning.

Graham, one of the leading rushers in the state, has transferred from three high schools--including Santa Ana Mater Dei and Huntington Beach Edison--during the last three years.

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