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Wizards' Strickland Arrested on Drunken Driving Charges

September 04, 1997|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Rod Strickland of the Washington Wizards was released from jail Wednesday after his arrest on charges of drunken driving and disorderly conduct.

The 31-year-old point guard appeared briefly in court and faces trial Jan. 21.

Strickland's attorney, Billy Martin, said his client had been treated "unfairly" and should not have been jailed overnight.

"I think he was charged as a result of driving an expensive Mercedes-Benz," said Martin, adding Strickland will plead innocent.

Police said Strickland was stopped early Wednesday after making an illegal left turn in downtown Washington and became a "little disorderly." He is also charged with failing to show his driver's license. Strickland refused a sobriety test.

Wizard General Manager Wes Unseld, who has not spoken with his player, said the matter is not one the team would "take lightly."

Strickland pleaded guilty in April 1996 to hitting a former girlfriend and was ordered to attend a program for batterers.

He was also acquitted of a battery charge filed in 1994 over a shoving match with a truck driver in a Chicago parking lot.

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