By Bill Brubaker and Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche was arrested Wednesday in south-central Virginia on charges of reckless driving and driving on a suspended license for the third time, authorities said.
Blatche, who is entering his fourth season with the Wizards and signed a five-year contract worth around $15 million last summer, was clocked going 86 mph in a 70 mph zone on Interstate 85, said Brunswick County 1st Sgt. Dwyane Jones. In Virginia, anyone driving faster than 80 mph can be charged with reckless driving said Jones, who was the arresting officer.
Blatche, 21, was heading north from Georgia to the Washington area in a 2008 Mercedes. He appeared before a magistrate and was released on bond, Jones said.
"He was very cooperative," Jones said.
The 6-foot-11, 248-pound Blatche split time between power forward and center last season, appearing in all 82 regular season games with 15 starts. He averaged a career-best 7.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 20.4 minutes.
Blatche has been involved in other notable off-court incidents.
In September 2005, three months after the Wizards selected him with the 49th overall pick in the NBA draft out of South Kent Prep in Connecticut, Blatche was shot in an attempted carjacking that took place early one morning near his home in Alexandria.
The bullet pierced his chest and arm, and he appeared in only 29 games as a rookie. Then, last Aug. 2, Blatche and an acquaintance were arrested and charged with sexual solicitation in Northwest Washington.
At the time, Blatche was also wanted for failure to appear on a charge of driving without a license, stemming from an arrest in October 2006. The solicitation charge was dropped after Blatche followed court orders and attended a day-long seminar for men who solicit prostitutes.
However, Blatche was reprimanded by D.C. Superior Court Judge Rafael Diaz during a Sept. 1, 2007, hearing for not checking in with D.C. Pretrial Services agency once a week as required by the conditions of his release.
Neither Blatche nor Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld could be reached for comment last night.