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Rodman Detained on Report of Drunk Driving in His Boat

The ex-NBA star is jailed briefly after witnesses tell police his ship was being driven erratically in Newport. Charges are called unlikely.

September 05, 2003|Kimi Yoshino | Times Staff Writer

After two years of "going nuts" and "partying," Dennis Rodman called a press conference this summer to say he wanted to make a comeback in the NBA.

He said he'd lost 18 pounds.

He said he was getting mentally prepared.

He said, "This is no hoax, this is real."

But Thursday, Rodman was in trouble again. He was held at Newport Beach Jail on suspicion of public drunkenness but was later released.

Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said witnesses spotted him driving his boat, Sexual Chocolate, erratically about 2 p.m. and reported it to Orange County sheriff's deputies, who found Rodman outside the Cannery restaurant in Newport Beach.

"He was attempting to untie his boat when deputies drove up," Amormino said. "They actually witnessed him fall to the ground. That's how intoxicated he was. He was unable to care for himself."

Authorities said it's unlikely charges would be pursued.

Rodman and Newport Beach police should be on a first-name basis by now. Police have responded to more than 80 complaints about noise at his beach house.

One thing is certain: The flamboyant former basketball player known for his bright hair and tattoos also has a flair for finding trouble.

Last month, authorities towed the infamous Sexual Chocolate, a 47-foot Fountain speedboat, after Rodman illegally parked it at someone else's dock. In 2001, he was cited for speeding in the boat. Police clocked him at 20 mph in a 5 mph zone.

Then there was the time in 2001, when police were called to Hooters restaurant in Newport Beach when Rodman allegedly sprayed a roomful of people with a fire extinguisher.

But nothing tops his 40th birthday party, which attracted more than 300 people. At that shindig, Rodman arrived by helicopter on the beach, and 30 police officers were sent to shut the party down.

As for that NBA comeback, Rodman's attorney, Paul Meyer, said: "I don't think this minor incident will have any effect on his overall plans."

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