Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rams' Phillips Arrested for DUI

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rams' Phillips Arrested for DUI

Article excerpt

Lawrence Phillips, a running back who was the St. Louis Rams No. 1 draft choice this year, was arrested early Thursday morning in California on a charge of drunken driving.

Phillips already was on probation for assaulting a former girlfriend last year while both were students at the University of Nebraska.

Sgt. Ernie Garcia of the California Highway Patrol said Thursday that Phillips, 21, drove his gold 1995 Mercedes 500 SL past a moving patrol car at a high speed on the Pomona Freeway about 2:15 a.m. Smoke was coming from the left side of Phillips' car because of a flat tire, Garcia said.

"He was stradling about two feet into the left-center dividing shoulder area," Garcia explained. "His speed was estimated at 78 mph."

The officer in the patrol car, W.M. Ekland, pursued Phillips for about 4 miles before pulling him over on an off-ramp in the Los Angeles suburb of Rosemead.

Garcia said Phillips was cooperative but became "visibly upset" when Ekland told him he was being arrested for DUI. Phillips consented to two breath tests which had blood-alcohol levels of .15 percent and .16 percent. California's legal limit is .08 percent.

The arrest stunned Rams officials, who had drafted Phillips after other teams passed him by because of concerns about the player.

Rams president John Shaw said ". . .any arrest for alcohol-related incidents are serious and have to be attended to.

"I'm tremendously disappointed."

Rams assistant director of public relations Tony Wyllie said: "We won't have any comment until we have the details. But we're aware of the situation."

"There's not much we know about it," Rams director of public relations Rick Smith said. "His agent (Mitch Frankel) informed our people of the allegations this afternoon."

Coach Rich Brooks couldn't be reached. "Brooks knows about it," Smith said.

General manager Steve Ortmayer was out of town and couldn't be reached. …

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