Retired baseball player Lenny Dykstra was arraigned Monday in a New Jersey courtroom on two drug charges and for allegedly threatening an Uber driver, with his attorney entering a not guilty plea on Dykstra’s behalf.
Dykstra didn’t say anything during the hearing in the courtroom of Union County Superior Court Judge Lisa Miralles Walsh. He is scheduled to return on Dec. 3.
Outside the courtoom, a group of reporters followed him as he walked away.
“I’m a man of the people,” Dykstra said. “We’ll let the process handle itself and the truth will come out.”
Dykstra, 55, played 12 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets. A three-time All-Star, he was a member of the Mets’ 1986 championship team.
David S. Bahuriak, Dykstra’s attorney, told reporters his client is innocent.
“This has been an overblown incident from the very beginning,” Bahuriak said. “He is not guilty, he did not commit a crime and the evidence is going to show that.”
Dykstra was arrested May 23 after an alleged confrontation with the Uber driver.
The driver told police that Dykstra was picked up at Crescent Circle in Linden, N.J., with a listed destination in nearby Clark Township, but changed his mind and wanted to go to Staten Island.
Dykstra would need to use his phone to change the trip, the driver says he told him, sparking the trouble.
“Dykstra then placed a black pill bag with an object (the driver) believed to be a gun to his head and stated, ‘Take me to Staten Island or I’ll blow your (expletive) head off,’” according to the police documents.
The driver pulled up in front of the Linden police station and fled the vehicle “screaming for help,” according to the report.
An officer patted down Dykstra, who claimed he had no gun and that the driver had kidnapped him.
Police said that when the officer searched Dykstra’s bags, he allegedly found a pill bottle containing a leafy green substance suspected to be marijuana, a glass pipe with suspected marijuana residue and a yellow straw with suspected powder cocaine residue.
Also allegedly found were two pills suspected to be MDMA, a baggie containing suspected marijuana and a clear vial containing suspected cocaine.
If convicted, Dykstra could face up to 10 years in prison. He has two previous convictions, including a federal fraud conviction.
—Field Level Media