NBA Star Avoids Jail Time For Drug Arrest In LA Housing Project

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — Former Los Angeles Clipper Zach Randolph was sentenced to community service Wednesday following his arrest on drug charges in a downtown L.A. housing project last month.

Randolph entered a no-contest plea to marijuana possession and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors, during a hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court and was immediately sentenced to 150 hours of community service, said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the L.A. city attorney’s office.

The two-time All-Star may petition the court for the charges to be vacated if he stays out of trouble for a year, Mateljan said.

Randolph was one of two men arrested during a mob fracas on the night of Aug. 9 in the Nickerson Garden Housing Project.

The incident began near 112th Street and Zamora Avenue when Los Angeles police noticed a group of people gathering in the area. When officers responded, a mob formed and began to destroy police cruisers and throw objects at officers, prompting them to call for backup, police said.

Randolph, 36, was initially taken into custody on a felony charge of drug possession with intent to sell, police told CBS2. A second man, identified as Stanley Walton, was arrested on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Randolph’s felony drug possession charge was later reduced to a misdemeanor. Court documents said Randolph possessed “more than 28.5 grams of marijuana or more than four grams of concentrated cannabis or both.”

Randolph was also accused of resisting arrest and obstructing a Los Angeles police officer in the discharge of his or her duties.

During the Aug. 9 incident, officers observed three people, including Randolph, run off but immediately stopped one of the men, police said. Randolph and Walton ran inside a home and were arrested after a crowd of bystanders formed and attempted to block the officers.

After the arrests, the crowd grew and people began throwing bottles and rocks, police said. Five police cars and one sheriff’s vehicle ended up with smashed windows and slashed tires, but no officers were injured.

Randolph, a 16-year NBA veteran, signed a two-year, $24 million deal with the Sacramento Kings this summer after spending the past eight seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies.

He has had a lengthy history of run-ins with the law dating back to his time with the Portland Trail Blazers in the early 2000s. In April 2009, while playing for the Clippers, he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving on the 405 Freeway, according to the Los Angeles Times. The arrest resulted in a two-game suspension.

Randolph played for Michigan State and was drafted in 2001 by the Blazers. Along with the Blazers, Clippers and Grizzlies, he also played for the New York Knicks.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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