Johns' O's status unaltered by arrest

Left-hander faces drug, DWI charges

April 07, 1999|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Orioles pitcher Doug Johns' status with the team remains unchanged despite his arrest Monday.

Johns was released on his own recognizance yesterday morning after being arrested late Monday night in downtown Baltimore, about 3 1/2 hours after the conclusion of the team's season-opening win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Camden Yards.

Johns has been charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while intoxicated and failure to obey a traffic signal. A court date has been set for June 2, when the Orioles are in Seattle to close a nine-game West Coast trip.

According to the police report, Johns was stopped by Officer Daymieon Rivera at 10: 30 p.m. after his late-model Jeep Grand Cherokee ran a red light at the intersection of Lombard Street and Market Place. The report states that Rivera detected a strong smell of alcohol, and that Johns' eyes were "bloodshot and glassy." Johns told the officer he had consumed two to three beers within the last six hours.

Officer Peter Haduch arrived on the scene and administered a field sobriety test. According to the report, Johns almost fell during the walk-and-turn test, and three more times while counting to 30 during the one-leg stand. He also failed the third and final test due to a lack of "smooth pursuit by the eyes at 45 degrees." At that point, Johns was placed under arrest.

During a search of Johns' vehicle, officers found a zip-lock sandwich bag containing a small amount of "a green plant like substance," believed to be marijuana, three packs of cigarette papers and a pipe case in the center console. Johns was transported to Central Police District, where he refused a drug and alcohol test. He then was taken to Central Booking, where he was formally charged, fingerprinted and placed in a cell.

Johns appeared before a district court commissioner yesterday morning and was released. He has no previous criminal record in Baltimore.

Orioles owner Peter Angelos said his law office has provided an attorney for Johns at the club's expense, but also would understand if the reliever is more comfortable being represented by the players association.

"So far he's only been charged. We're working on the assumption of innocence, which is what is proper at this point," Angelos said.

The team declined to comment further on Johns.

Johns, 31, was signed by the Orioles as a minor-league free agent on June 30, 1997, and assigned to Triple-A Rochester. He began last season with the Red Wings before being recalled by the Orioles on April 20. The left-hander made 10 starts among his 31 appearances, going 3-3 with a 4.57 ERA in 86 2/3 innings.

He went on the disabled list retroactive to May 3 because of insomnia, and agreed to participate in an employee assistance program. Johns, who was activated on May 18, said his condition improved with medication and the supervision of a psychologist.

Pegged as a long reliever this spring, Johns appeared in eight exhibition games, allowing five earned runs in 14 2/3 innings. He didn't pitch in Monday's opener, and the Orioles had yesterday off before resuming their series tonight against the Devil Rays.

Johns, who is single, resides in Plantation, Fla. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1990 with a degree in psychology, and started his professional career later that year with the Oakland A's rookie-league team in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Sun staff writer Peter Schmuck contributed to this article.

Pub Date: 4/07/99

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