October 18th, 2010
05:52 PM ET

Dwight Gooden pleads not guilty to child endangerment

Former MLB pitcher Dwight Gooden was arrested in May after a car crash.

Retired all-star pitcher Dwight Gooden pleaded not guilty Monday to endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs with a child in the car during a May car crash.

Gooden entered his plea at an arraignment in New Jersey's Bergen County Superior Court, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office said. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The former Mets pitcher with a history of drug abuse was arrested May 23 after a two-vehicle crash in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. Gooden, 45, lives in Franklin Lakes, authorities said.

At the time, Detective Lt. John Bakelaar told CNN that the child in the car was Gooden's 5-year-old son.

Gooden is scheduled to be back in court November 8 for a status conference.

Gooden pitched for the Mets from 1984 to 1994, winning the 1985 Cy Young Award after a 24-4 record that year. He also pitched for the New York Yankees, the Cleveland Indians, the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays before retiring from baseball after the 2000 season.

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Filed under: Courts • New Jersey • Sports
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. WhiteKong78

    Celebrities are essentially role models for kids who have no other role models in their lives.

    October 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kuuipo

    it doesn't matter who he is, nobody should be driving under the influence of anything especially with a child, their own child at that! it's sad but true stuff like this happens all the time to people who don't deserve it and all we do is complain about it instead of doing something about it!

    October 19, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Poolchick

    Hope he gets the 10 yrs so he can sit and think about how he put his child in danger. What a loser! These althletes/celebs think they can do whatever they want and not pay for the crime. Nail him to the wall and hopefully people will start to realize they will sit in jail for the dumba$$ actions.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kimberly

    They need a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY! Test dirty even once and revoke their contrct. PERIOD! END OF STORY! There is plenty of talent out there ready to take their place!

    October 19, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Christopher

    Guys, there has NEVER been an accident linked SOLELY to driving while on any drug. Driving while high on certain drugs AND ALCOHOL, yes.
    I thought at first this guy had been caught driving while intoxicated with alcohol, but no..... it appears he was only arrested for driving while drugged, which SHOULD NOT BE A CRIME if someone is not putting someone in direct danger.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Robin Bush

    Oh come on, He got caught cause hes rich, got money and looks, and TALENT.... Like what about the other 5 million schmucks out there that dont get caught.,..... Now thats RACIAL profiling., at its best

    October 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. donny

    Who cares....???

    October 19, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rena

    If this is his first offense, I believe he deserves another chance (no matter who you are). Everyone makes mistakes – if it is his second offense, it is now a habit, get him off the streets. In jail because if you just revoke the license, they will still drive! jmo

    October 20, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • David, Tampa

      On February 20, 2002, Gooden was arrested in his native Tampa and charged with driving while intoxicated, having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle, and driving with a suspended license. He was arrested again in January 2003 for driving with a suspended license.

      On March 12, 2005, Gooden was arrested in Tampa, Florida for punching his girlfriend after she threw a telephone at his head. He was released two days later on a misdemeanor battery charge.

      Troubles continued to mount for the former star when, on August 23, 2005, he drove away from a traffic stop in Tampa, after being pulled over for driving erratically. He gave the officer his driver's license, twice refused to leave his car, then drove away. The officer remarked in his report that Gooden's eyes were glassy and bloodshot, his speech was slurred, and a "strong" odor of alcohol was present on him. Three days after the traffic stop, Gooden turned himself in to police.[8]

      Gooden was again arrested in March 2006 for violating his probation, after he appeared intoxicated with cocaine at a scheduled meeting with his probation officer, David R. Stec.[9] He chose prison over extended probation, perhaps in the hope that incarceration would separate him from the temptations of his addiction.[10] He entered prison on April 17, 2006. On May 31, Gooden said in an interview from prison, "I can't come back here. [...] I'd rather get shot than come back here. [...] If I don't get the message this time, I never will."[11] Gooden was released from prison November 9, 2006, after nearly seven months' incarceration, and was not placed on further probation.[12]

      On the morning of March 24, 2010, Gooden was arrested in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey after leaving the scene of a traffic accident. He was located nearby and found to be under the influence of an undisclosed controlled substance. He has been charged with 8 counts, including DWI with a child passenger, leaving the scene of an accident, and other motor vehicle violations.[13] Gooden has also been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, because a child was with him at the time of the accident.[14]

      November 20, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sandra

    It's sad that we've become a society oF critics. Where's our compassion? When people make these types of choices regardless of their social status it says that they've lost their way. I pray that Dwight and the rest of us see the hardships in our lives as a plea from God to stop living life our own way. He sent Jesus so we would be forgiven and be able to get the help and guidance we need. Let's start praying. We can't do it on our own. Not even the best of us.

    November 7, 2010 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • David, Tampa

      Stop pandering.

      November 20, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. David, Tampa

    Hey hey hey What is the deal here with "compassion, caring, role models", and all that. DUI is stupid. DUI with a kid in the car is moronic.

    November 20, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
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