Cloudy future Cocaine charges could overshadow Marinovich's other troubles

January 21, 1991|By Jim Newton | Jim Newton,Los Angeles Times

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Suspended USC quarterback Todd Marinovich was arrested on cocaine possession charges early yesterday morning, police said.

According to Newport Beach police, Marinovich, 21, was one of four young men loudly cavorting through a neighborhood a few doors from his mother's home at about 4:15 a.m. The four were stopped by officers "who were concerned about possible disturbances to neighbors," Sgt. Andy Gonis said, adding that officers suspected the four might be intoxicated.

As the officers questioned the four men, "the subject, who was later identified as Todd Marinovich, was observed attempting to conceal something behind his back," Gonis said.

All four men were searched, and police said they found a "bindle" in Marinovich's waistband that contained about one gram of white powder believed to be cocaine. None of the other men were found carrying suspicious substances, and they were not arrested.

Marinovich was taken to Newport Beach city jail, where he was booked on one count of cocaine possession, a felony. After spending nearly seven hours in custody, he was released on his own recognizance, pending his court hearing, police said.

That hearing, according to one officer, probably will be Feb. 11. Marinovich did not return phone calls.

Marinovich's father, Marv Marinovich -- who raised Todd under a strict training program to develop him into a star athlete -- wouldn't comment at length.

"I'm numb," was all he would say.

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