Gooden to be held until October hearing on charges

TAMPA, Fla. -- Dwight Gooden will be jailed without bail until an October hearing, a judge ruled Friday, three days after the former star pitcher fled police during a DUI traffic stop.

Gooden, dressed in an orange jail outfit and shackled at the wrists and ankles, looked gaunt in court as he was flanked by his mother and lawyer. He didn't speak during the brief hearing except to acknowledge the judge's questions with a "yes, sir" or "no, sir."

State Circuit Judge Nick Nazaretian approved an agreement between both sides that will allow the former All-Star to enter a secured substance abuse treatment facility if a bed becomes available. Gooden also has a March domestic violence charge pending with the court.

Gooden's attorney, Peter Hobson, would not say where the 40-year-old Tampa native had been or what he had been doing since driving away from the officer near downtown at about 2:40 a.m. Monday. The lawyer asked for privacy for Gooden and his family.

"I'm glad he's safe," New York Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
"When someone's hiding out you never know how desperate they

Gooden appeared in court for the first time since surrendering to police Thursday. He had been missing since speeding away from an officer who stopped him on suspicion of drunken driving early Monday.

Nazaretian set an Oct. 25 hearing on the latest charges, which include a felony count of fleeing police and misdemeanor charges of DUI and resisting arrest without violence.

Gooden was pulled over in his 2004 BMW for driving erratically, police said. Slurring his words and smelling of alcohol, he twice refused to get out of the car for a field sobriety test and bolted while the officer was still holding his driver's license, police

Investigators had been talking to Hobson all week about his client's surrender but were surprised when the two turned up at a Hillsborough County jail Thursday afternoon.

"I think it's clear that he recognizes he needs help," said prosecutor Pam Bondi, who agreed to let Gooden try to get into treatment for "evaluation of an alcohol and/or drug problem."

The attorneys said it wasn't clear if or when space would become available for Gooden.

These latest developments mean both Gooden and his 19-year-old son, Dwight Jr., are in jail. The younger Gooden was arrested this month for violating his probation on a cocaine possession conviction and faces additional charges after police said they found marijuana and bullets in his car parked outside a nightclub.

Nazaretian commended the elder Gooden for turning himself in, saying "if police had picked you up, we wouldn't be talking right now."

"That's the first sign toward getting things better in your life," the judge told him. "I hope you can turn this around."

Gooden, the 1984 rookie of the year and 1985 NL Cy Young Award winner while with the Mets, went 194-112 with a 3.51 ERA before retiring in 2001. He also pitched for the Yankees, Indians, Astros and Devil Rays.

Gooden was arrested by Tampa police in 2002 on a drunken driving charge but later pleaded guilty to reckless driving and received a year's probation. He was arrested in March and charged with hitting his live-in girlfriend in the face during an argument. Bondi said Gooden most likely would negotiate a plea deal on the domestic violence charge.

"My prayers are with my uncle," Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield said in a statement released by the team. "I pray that
he will seek and receive the help he so desperately needs."

During his playing days, Gooden was suspended for 60 days in 1994 for testing positive for cocaine while with the Mets. He tested positive for cocaine again while on suspension and was sidelined for the 1995 season. He recently worked for the Yankees
as a special adviser but quit in April.