Sports

Saturday, Mar 27 2010 06:47 PM

Joey Porter arrested on DUI, battery charges

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

NFL star Joey Porter of Bakersfield was arrested early Saturday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence, battery on a peace officer and resisting arrest, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Porter could not be reached for comment.

The incident began at about 1:20 a.m. when officers made an enforcement stop in the Taco Bell parking lot at Hageman Road and Calloway Drive in Bakersfield, a CHP news release said. It said Porter, a friend of the subject who was stopped, also stopped behind the CHP patrol vehicle.

While an officer contacted the person originally stopped, another officer contacted Porter and smelled alcohol, the release said. It said the officer asked for Porter's license, but Porter wouldn't give it to him. The officer ordered Porter to get out of the car, the CHP said.

Porter began to roll up the driver's-side window, the release said, and the officer reached into the vehicle and lifted the unlock button. It said Porter slapped his hand on top of the officer's hand to keep the door lock button down and the officer grabbed Porter's arm and pushed it back into the inside of the vehicle.

Porter opened the vehicle door and got out of it "in a confrontational manner," the release said. The officer directed Porter to the ground, the release said, but Porter wouldn't. But Porter did comply with orders to place his hands behind his head.

Porter was then taken into custody, the release said. Porter's right-front passenger was also taken into custody on suspicion of being drunk in public, the release said.

The release did not name that person.

The local CHP office said it wouldn't answer any questions about the incident Saturday. KGET Channel 17 quoted CHP Sgt. Don Clotworthy as saying Porter's unidentified uncle was the passenger in Porter's 2002 Mercedes Benz.

KGET said it spoke briefly with Porter's wife on the phone and she said they have no comment, then hung up.

It said Porter's charges are misdemeanors.

An 11-year veteran linebacker, Porter signed a three-year, 24.5-million contract with the Arizona Cardinals, $17.5 million of it guaranteed, on March 19.

"The team is aware of the incident," the Cardinals said in a statement. "We are in the process of gathering all of the facts concerning it and won't comment further until that's completed."

A 1995 graduate of Foothill High, Porter was drafted by Pittsburgh in the third round of the NFL draft in 1999 after playing in college at Colorado State.

Porter was a four-time Pro Bowl selection with the Steelers and won a Super Bowl with them in 2006.

The Steelers released Porter on March 1, 2007, in lieu of paying him a $1 million roster bonus and he signed a five-year deal with the Dolphins a few days later.

Porter and the Dolphins struggled in 2007-08 but a rejuvenated Porter returned to form the following season. He led the AFC and finished second in the NFL with a career-high 17.5 sacks and played a large role in transforming the 1-15 Dolphins of the previous season into a the 11-5 AFC East champions.

Porter was named team captain last season but apparently fell out of favor with the Dolphins after calling out New England quarterback Tom Brady during Week 9. Porter had no tackles in a loss to New England, was suspended for the next game by Dolphins coach Tony Sparano for undisclosed reasons and was released by the team on March 5.

Porter has held the Joey Porter Boot Camp for the past several years at Foothill High to benefit his alma mater and has also staged golf tournaments to raise money for other Bakersfield-based nonprofits.

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