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Another Blazer in trouble

Patterson arrested on domestic assault charge

Posted: Tuesday November 26, 2002 11:57 AM
Updated: Tuesday November 26, 2002 11:49 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Trail Blazers forward Ruben Patterson was arrested Monday night on a felony domestic assault charge, the latest Portland player in trouble with the law.

Tualatin police spokesman Sgt. Doug Nafziger said Patterson was taken into custody after his wife, Shannon, called 911 and said he assaulted her at their home.

Nafziger said that when police got to the couple's home Monday evening, "They found that Mrs. Patterson had minor [injuries]."

The couple's children, ages 2 and 10, were in the house at the time, police said. The presence of the children is enough to boost the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony under Oregon law, Nafziger said.

Patterson was taken to the Washington County Jail and released after teammate Derek Anderson posted $1,000 bail, Nafziger said.

"I'm just hearing of this myself," Blazers executive director of communications Mike Hanson said. "It would be premature for myself or anyone in the organization to comment at this time."

Shannon Patterson released a statement early Tuesday through her husband's agent, Dan Fegan.

"I made a statement that was accurate, but in the heat of the moment was incomplete," Shannon Patterson said. "Ruben and I had a disagreement this evening. I want the public to know that Ruben did not assault me. I love my husband, and this is a private family matter. I'm embarrassed that it became public and this is something we are working out privately. I respectfully request that we be allowed to do so."

Patterson is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 6, the same day teammates Damon Stoudamire and Rasheed Wallace are scheduled to appear in court on drug charges. Nafziger said Patterson could face up to five years in prison and a $100,000 fine if convicted.

Stoudamire and Wallace were cited last week for misdemeanor marijuana possession after a Washington state trooper stopped them in a speeding vehicle on their way back to Portland after a game in Seattle.

Earlier this year, Stoudamire was charged with a felony after police found a large bag of marijuana in his home while investigating a burglar alarm. A judge declared the search illegal, but prosecutors are appealing.

In 2001, Patterson entered a modified guilty plea in Washington state to attempted rape. Under the agreement, Patterson did not admit guilt, but acknowledged there was enough evidence to convict him.

He was sentenced to a year in jail, but a judge suspended all but 15 days of the sentence, which Patterson served in his Cleveland home. The NBA suspended him for the first five games of last season, his first with the Blazers after signing a six-year, $33.8 million free-agent contract following two years with the SuperSonics.

Patterson also was convicted of misdemeanor assault in February 2001 for attacking a man who scratched his car outside a Cleveland nightclub the previous year.

The Blazers have made a concerted effort recently to reconnect with fans who have grown restless with all the on-the-court malcontents and off-the-court indiscretions from a team with a payroll now over $100 million.

The team has been airing TV and radio ads featuring -- among others -- Wallace, Patterson and Stoudamire, in which the players pose as door-to-door salesmen pedaling their basketball expertise.

Last offseason, second-year forward Zach Randolph was cited for underage drinking. Last year, guard Bonzi Wells and former teammate Erick Barkley were ticketed by Portland police for failing to leave the site of a downtown fight.

Wallace has led the NBA in technical fouls the last couple of years.

Patterson has averaged 7.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 13 games this season, including four starts.

Portland hosts the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.


 
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