- The Washington Times - Friday, August 3, 2007

Washington Wizards reserve forward Andray Blatche was arrested in the District early yesterday morning on charges of solicitation after police said he and a friend attempted to engage in sex with an undercover officer.

Metropolitan Police arrested the 20-year-old Blatche shortly after midnight along with an associate, Gregory Palmer, near Thomas Circle in Northwest. According to the police report, Blatche and Palmer approached the undercover officer and agreed to pay $80 in exchange for sex, as well as oral sex. The officer then signaled other officers in the area, who arrested the two men.

The undercover team is part of a special task force created to address recent complaints of prostitution activity in the District.

Blatche and Palmer appeared yesterday before Judge Rafael Diaz of D.C. Superior Court, where it was revealed Blatche had failed to appear in court in October after being arrested for driving without a license. Blatche and Palmer were released without bond and are required to return to court for a procedural hearing Aug. 31.

Blatche played in 56 games last season, starting in 13. He averaged 3.7 points and 3.4 rebounds a game playing mainly as a forward, though injuries on the team forced him to play as a backup center in some games.

The Washington Times reported this week that the Wizards offered Blatche, a restricted free agent, a three-year, $11 million contract.

“We are aware of this matter involving Andray,” Washington Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said. “We are in the process of gathering all the information and will continue to monitor this situation. We will have no further comment.”

Blatche’s agent, Eric Fleisher, said he was not aware of the arrest and declined to comment.

Blatche declared for the NBA Draft straight out of high school in 2005, and the Wizards selected him in the second round. In September of that year, he sustained a bullet wound near his chest and arm after carjackers attacked him near his home in Alexandria. He healed quickly and was able to play in 29 games with the Wizards during the 2005-2006 season. He also played with the Roanoke Dazzle of the NBA Development League.

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