Refuse the Breathalizer
JJune just wouldn't be June without a Sebastian Janikowski DUI incident, and this year was no different. After his disastrous foray into the world of GHB and unwilling dates, the Foul Pole decided to go back to the bread and butter pleasures of vodka mixed with German performance cars and immediately hit paydirt. Janikowski was arraigned in Leon County Court in Tallahassee, FL on June 10 after being pulled over on May 18 for driving "erratically" in his maroon Mercedes. Police immediately issued a citation for the DUI, but declined to prosecute Janikowski for buying a maroon car. Law enforcement officials said records showed he had been cited for DUIs at least seven other times, including three times in Tallahassee. However, they made it clear that no favoritism was shown in the decision to let him keep his license. "Not only NFL stars, but ordinary people may drink and drive as much as they like here in Tallahassee," one police spokesman said. "We just pull you over if we run out of beer ourselves." Janikowski, who was oncearrested for attempting to bribe a policeman, reportedly had no liquor left in his vehicle at the time of the citation.
One of the problems with professional sports is that there's no way to completely isolate the athletes from the general population. No doubt they're working on it: vast practice facilities that come complete with whole artificial population centers... Fully automated discos and bars manned by robots, lots of papier mache parking meters and light poles to safely drive into, and a never-ending supply of real high school girls, red rubber balls strapped in their mouths, imported through a special loading dock at the edge of the territory. No other human interference would be necessary; even the record producers who arrive to offer rap album deals could be automated... That's the way it ought to be, but not the way it is. In the real world, there's no way to remove completely the extraneous human beings from the pro athlete's existence. Case in point: the parking lot attendant.
Hardly a year goes by without a violent incident involving a pro athlete, a $90,000 vehicle with a dent, and a parking lot attendant who sooner or later surfaces on television with a cheap lawyer and a neck brace. Mike Tyson used to fill the yearly quota with admirable regularity, but this year the job fell to Chicago Bears wide receiver David Terrell. Terrell was arrested on June 13 on the classic sports charge of simple misdemeanor battery after he and two other men had a "disagreement" with a pair of Chicago parking lot attendants. Punches were thrown, and one attendant was struck in the face, although he stupidly declined even fictional medical treatment after the fight ended. The ACLU has yet to protest the exorbitant $100 bail set for Terrell after the incident.
Former boxing champion Pernell Whitaker earlier this month had some advice for young people who are considering experimentation with cocaine: don't hide it in your wallet. The key with coke is to work up enough of a resistance that you can swallow your whole load if you have to. When police pull you over for driving into a light pole, toss the foil packet into your mouth. Then try to keep as cool as possible while they decide whether or not to make an arrest or issue a ticket. That's the key moment right there, the difference between be able to keep doing tons of coke indefinitely and not being able to do any at all for at least the next 21 months. Whitaker screwed it up back in March. He only had a few more months to go before a previous cocaine charge would have been dropped when he was pulled over for a moving violation in Virginia Beach. While police were processing him for a four-day jail term on the traffic arrest, they found a packet of cocaine in his money roll. Now he's looking at ten years if convicted for violating the terms of a previous drug sentence. "It has not been a good day for me," Whitaker said after the hearing.
Finally, a story you've heard on the radio more often than a two-for-Tuesday double-shot of Aerosmith: Dwight Gooden arrested in Florida for driving with an open container of alcohol. In an unusual twist, Gooden appeared to not actually be drunk at the time of the arrest; police video showed him passing the field test with flying colors. Gooden's attorney, Joseph Ficarrotta, jumped all over the tape and get the charge knocked down. "Law enforcement did the right thing and reduced the charge to reckless driving," he said, stressing the words right and thing. The Doc almost got off this time, but the age-old unpaid previous unrelated traffic violation did him in, and he was sentenced to 21 hours of community autograph-signing. "I couldn't find a stamp," Doc explained.