The 2007 sports-crime season has its first repeat offender. Ron Artest, one of the more notorious goon-meatheads in modern NBA history, was arrested Monday on two seperate charges after an apparent assault against a woman at his estate in the Sacramento suburb of Loomis, California.
Police showed up at Ron-Ron’s estate at 9:30 in the morning and found “a woman with injuries,” according to most news reports, with authorities not specifying yet if the woman was his wife. Artest was immediately hit with an assault charge and an additional charge of using force to prevent the reporting of a crime. Sheriff’s spokesmen subsequently claimed that Artest shoved the woman to the ground during a dispute and then subsequently tried to leave the scene in his big-ass SUV after police were called; the woman apparently retaliated by throwing a pot at Artest’s Hummer, shattering its windshield. Authorities said there was a three-year-old inside the house during the incident.
Police found Artest sitting calmly outside the house when they arrived. They hauled him in and shortly thereafter released him on a $50,000 bond. “He was very cooperative,” Sgt. Andrew Scott said afterward.
Artest has a long and involved history with this sort of stuff. In 2004 both he and his wife were sentenced to anger-management classes after being arrested for domestic-violence charges (the wife had hit Artest as well). He was also sentenced to a year of probation for his role in the infamous 2004 brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills. More recently, animal-control officers showed up at Artest’s Loomis home in February after neighbors complained that he was starving his Great Dane, Socks. It subsequently came out that Artest had paid almost two-grand in fees to the local animal-control office because his dog had spent 77 nights in the pound since the summer; apparently the dog had been taken away at least seven times in response to neighbors’ complaints.
Artest has always been a jerk — a touchy, paranoid egomaniac who has never, ever been a good enough player to be worth the hassle. He plays with high intensity and anger without seeming to actually enjoy the game of basketball, a rare profile. His rap album, My World, is an early favorite to eventually be named the worst athlete-album of all time. He makes Shaquille O’Neal sound like Warren G.
I’m giving Ron-Ron 60 points for the domestic-violence charge, a little heavier than the usual amount because he’s been charged with this before. Add that to the 35 points he got for starving his dog and he’s up in the 90s, putting him among the early leaders in the clubhouse (and the first repeat offender).
Speaking of the leaders, this year’s pole-sitter, former Penn State football player LaVon Chisley, had some good news recently, as Centre County (PA) District Attorney Michael Madeira has decided not to pursue the death penalty in Chisley’s murder case.
Chisley will stand trial later this year for last summer’s stabbing murder of his friend, Langston Carraway.
In brief: as we were going to press here, a pair of University of Illinois football players, Joseph “Jody” Ellis and Derrick McPhearson, were arrested this week in connection with residential burglaries of laptop computers. The arrest continues a strange trend of star amateur athletes boosting laptops. Recent offenders include six members of the South Carolina Gamecocks (2005), current and former UConn hoop stars A.J. Price and Marcus Williams, and current Red Sox hot prospect Clay Buchholz (who, by all accounts, has turned things around). Former Arizona Cardinals reserve running back Larry Ned also once snatched a laptop off an X-ray machine at an airport in one of the weirder sports arrests ever.
When he’s not googling “Shaq Diesel” and “amateur laptop boosts,” Matt Taibbi writes for Rolling Stone. He can be reached atM_Taibbi@yahoo.com.
YEARLY LEADER BOARD TOP 10
Lavon Chisley (Penn State) | murder | 99
Steve Swindal (Yankees) | DUI | 98
Ron Artest (Kings) | starving Socks, domestic violence, intimidation | 95
Pacman Jones (Titans) | TBA | 90
Murietta Jocks (Murietta Fight Club) | various | 75
Six Football Players (Guilford) | assault | 50 (downgraded)
Kat. Maekawa (Orix Buffaloes) | DUI, hit/run | 47
Ronnie Fields (Minot Skyrockets) | sex assault | 40
Lionel Sullivan (BGSU) | stealing video games, being a dumbass | 31
Mike Tyson (N/A) | coke, DUI | 28
Rashaun Broadus (Byu Hoops) | DUI, having Snoop Dogg’s last name | 26
Ryan Krause (Chargers) | DUI | 25
Dontrelle Willis (Marlins) | DUI, peeing | 23
Randy Foye (T-Wolves) | fighting | 20
Minny P.D. (N/A) | tasering | 20
Karl Luchsinger (OSU) | bar fighting | 18
Tinsley/Daniels/Mcleod (Pacers) | fighting | 15
Mobile P.D. (N/A) | being dicks | 5
Howard Stirgus (Denton) | bomb threats | 3
Kyle Mclarney (Notre Dame) | weed possession | 1
Elijah Dukes (Devil Rays) | weed; being black and not giving a fuck | 0.5