- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 31, 2008

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Charles Barkley was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol early Wednesday.

An officer with a task force that targets drunken driving saw the former NBA star run a stop sign about 1:30 a.m., Gilbert police Lt. Eric Shuhandler said. Mr. Barkley was in Scottsdale’s Old Town area, a trendy spot in the Phoenix area.

“I am disappointed that I put myself in that situation,” Mr. Barkley said in a statement to the Associated Press. “The Scottsdale police were fantastic. Now it is a legal matter, and I will not comment any further as it is a legal matter.”

The 45-year-old Mr. Barkley, now an NBA television commentator, failed field sobriety tests after the officer smelled alcohol on him, and he was arrested. Mr. Barkley declined to submit to a breath test but was given a blood test. The results weren’t immediately available.

Mr. Barkley was cited and released. His car was impounded, and he left in a cab, Lt. Shuhandler said. Police described Mr. Barkley as cooperative, adding it is customary to release people after an arrest on suspicion of DUI.

“There was nothing unusual about how he was taken into custody,” Lt. Shuhandler said. “He was treated exactly like we treat anybody else.”

In 1997, Mr. Barkley was arrested in Orlando, Fla., and charged with hurling a bar patron through a glass window after the man tossed a glass of ice at him. The case was settled after Mr. Barkley was fined and performed community service.

Mr. Barkley was selected one the NBA’s 50 greatest players in 1996 and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. He played 16 seasons for Philadelphia, Phoenix and Houston and was on the 1992 and 1996 Olympic teams. Mr. Barkley was an 11-time NBA All-Star and league MVP in 1993.

He starred at Auburn University and last month was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

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