Rodman pleads not guilty to DUI

Greg Risling

NEWPORT BEACH -- Eccentric ex-basketball star Dennis Rodman on Monday

pleaded innocent to charges he was driving under the influence as he left

a popular South Coast Plaza restaurant in December.

Rodman, 38, did not show up for the hearing and was not required to do so

for the misdemeanor count. His attorney, Paul Meyer, appeared on his

behalf and entered a plea of not guilty. Rodman's next court date is May

4.

Rodman, who was driving a powder blue Bentley, was stopped by Costa Mesa

police Dec. 23 as he left The Clubhouse Restaurant. Authorities were

reportedly notified by South Coast Plaza security that the National

Basketball Association star was leaving the mall. There have been

conflicting reports whether Rodman appeared to be intoxicated that night.

Police said Rodman, who briefly had a stint with the Dallas Mavericks

this year, was not wearing a seat belt and failed a field sobriety test

at the time of his arrest. Results from a subsequent test showed Rodman's

blood-alcohol level was 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit. He posted

$2,500 bail after his arrest and was released.

The Orange County District Attorney's office is reviewing another case

involving Rodman. That case was submitted by Newport Beach police who

have responded numerous times to Rodman's Seashore Drive home.

Police have responded to the home 28 times -- most of which are

complaints about loud parties, some that are at odd hours of the night.

Police have fined Rodman more than $2,000 for the responses, but the

penalties have done little to curb the late-night activity. The

department compiled the case because authorities say they have run out of

options with Rodman.

Rodman is no stranger to Newport Beach police. He was arrested last

August on suspicion of public drunkenness. He was partying at Woody's

Wharf when he reportedly got into a confrontation with another patron.

Charges were never filed against Rodman for the incident.

Just last week, Newport Beach police stopped Rodman on Superior Avenue

and cited him for driving with a suspended license.

Attempts to reach Rodman and his attorney Monday were unsuccessful.

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