DETROIT Police have charged Detroit Piston Ben Wallace, a four-time NBA defensive player of the year, with drunk driving and unlawful handgun possession after stopping him early Saturday for erratic driving northwest of Detroit.
Wallace, 37, who lives in Bloomfield Hills, was stopped at about 3 a.m. Saturday local time and arrested without incident, Bloomfield Township Police said in a statement on Thursday.
"The roadside investigation revealed that Mr. Wallace was operating his motor vehicle while intoxicated," the statement said.
Police said they recovered an unloaded pistol from a backpack in the passenger compartment during a search of the 2007 Cadillac Escalade SUV Wallace was driving. The charge of unlawful carrying of a concealed weapon is a five-year felony.
Wallace, who police said failed a Breathalyzer test at the police station, was charged with misdemeanor operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. He could not be reached immediately for comment.
Wallace has been arraigned on the charges and was given a $5,000 personal bond, then released to a family member, police said. He is scheduled to next appear in court on October 3 for a pre-exam conference, police said.
Wallace won an NBA championship with the Pistons in 2004 and has played for several teams over 17 years. He played in 54 games last season for Detroit, averaging 2.9 points per game.
A Pistons spokesman said the team would have no comment on Wallace's arrest. National Basketball Association players have been locked out by league officials in a labor dispute that has forced the cancellation of some preseason games.
(Reporting by Rebecca Cook; Additional reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Jerry Norton)