Boxer Mike Tyson Arrested in Arizona
Friday, December 29, 2006; 7:13 PM
PHOENIX -- Mike Tyson was arrested early Friday on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of cocaine after police stopped him shortly after he left a Scottsdale nightclub, police said.
The former heavyweight champion appeared in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix later Friday and was ordered released without bond on a felony drug possession charge. No alcohol was detected in his system, and a DUI-drugs charge was not filed pending toxicology tests.
Tyson, 40, will be required to submit to drug and alcohol testing and is prohibited from drinking or taking any nonprescription drugs while the case is pending.
Tyson was dressed in an oversized golf shirt, baggy jeans and tennis shoes without strings when he was brought into court. He said nothing and appeared calm while waiting for the judge, though he periodically tapped his feet or fingers.
At one point during the brief hearing he thanked Commissioner Sheila Madden. As he was leaving court, he shook his head when asked by a reporter if he wanted to comment. He did not enter a plea and did not have a lawyer.
Tyson was stopped after his car almost struck a sheriff's vehicle while leaving the club around 1:45 a.m., said Sgt. Larry Hall.
"He showed signs of impairment and voluntarily submitted to field sobriety tests," said Hall, a member of the Buckeye Police Department who was working in the area as part of a holiday DUI task force.
Hall said Tyson, who was alone, was placed under arrest after "showing more signs of impairment" during the field sobriety tests. Police then found cocaine on him and in his car, Hall said.
According to a police probable cause statement filed in court, the officer said he saw Tyson trying to wipe a white powder off the console of his BMW. During a search, the officer found two bags of white powder in Tyson's back pocket, the statement said.
"He admitted to using cocaine today and stated he is an addict and has a problem," the report said. "Mike admitted to possessing bags of cocaine and said he uses it anytime he can get his hands on it."
Tyson, who shot to fame by knocking out Trevor Berbick in 1986 to become the youngest heavyweight champion in history at age 20, has had several run-ins with the law over the years, including serving prison time for rape. The most infamous incident was in the ring in 1997 when he bit Evander Holyfield's ear during a fight.
The boxer had also been in the Maricopa County jail before _ as a guest talking to juvenile offenders about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.
"The irony is he did a great job with these kids _ stay away from drugs, don't drink, stay out of trouble," the sheriff said.