- The Washington Times - Monday, May 29, 2006

Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas and teammate Awvee Storey were arrested Saturday night in Miami on a low-level misdemeanor charge of disobeying police.

Arenas, a two-time NBA All-Star who finished fourth in the league in scoring this season (29.0), said he and Storey, a forward, were in a limousine and planning to have dinner with former teammate Larry Hughes somewhere on South Beach. Storey saw an old teammate, got out of the stretch white limo and was attempting to exchange phone numbers.

An arrest report said Storey, who was blocking traffic, did not return to the vehicle and was taken into custody and handcuffed by two bicycle officers. Arenas said he came to his teammate’s defense and also was arrested when he refused to return to the limo.

As Arenas was being arrested, according to the Associated Press, he said, “You can’t arrest me. I’m a basketball player. I play for the Washington Wizards, and I’m not going to leave my teammate.”

Both players were then taken to jail for processing.

“I told them that this is my teammate, and I asked them what was going on.” Arenas said yesterday. “The next thing I knew, [people] recognized me, and they started taking pictures. Some of them were arrested, too.”

The players were arrested as part of a crackdown on disorderly behavior among those who flocked to Miami for the holiday weekend.

The Wizards released a one-sentence statement regarding the matter yesterday: “We are aware of the situation and, until we have more information, we will not have a comment.”

Several phone messages left with the Miami Beach Police Dept. were not returned.

A total of 557 people were arrested between Thursday morning and Saturday night on Miami Beach. Most arrests were for disorderly conduct and intoxication. During the same three-day period last year, there were 333 arrests, according to the AP.

“They were picking people up left and right,” Arenas said. “I said, ‘Sir, we are moving.’ They said you have to move faster. They were picking people up for nothing. We knew how aggressive they were. I was just trying to go to dinner.”

Arenas said he and Storey were released about three hours later. Arenas said he paid a $1,000 fine and Storey, who will be a free agent this summer, received a $500 fine.

Storey appeared in 25 games this season and averaged 1.7 points.

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