Archive for Wednesday, April 4, 2001

Strawberry on binge during time on run

April 4, 2001

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— Darryl Strawberry told his probation officer he spent the four days he was missing doing cocaine with a female friend and armed men who took his jewelry and abandoned him in a motel room.

In a report to the judge who will decide if the former baseball star will go to prison, Florida probation officials said Tuesday that Strawberry tested positive for cocaine use and violated the terms of his house arrest in his four-day absence from a drug rehab center.

The report came as Strawberry remained in a psychiatric ward at St. Joseph's Hospital while doctors evaluated him.

Under arrest for violating his probation, he will be sent to the Hillsborough County Jail and held without bail once doctors declare him mentally stable.

The probation report is the first official accounting of Strawberry's Thursday night disappearance from the drug treatment center where he was serving two years' house arrest.

Strawberry told his probation officer that he was picked up at the center by a woman from an Alcoholics Anonymous program named Beverly, who was supposed to take him to the meeting.

"... Instead she began smoking crack cocaine and he couldn't resist the temptation," probation officer Shelley Tomlinson wrote in her report. "He said she took him to a nearby motel where there were a total of five men who had guns and took his jewelry."

Strawberry said they continued to use cocaine until Friday, when the men who are not identified decided it was time to leave. They rode around town, bought more drugs and drove to a motel in Orlando, the report said.

In addition to his legal troubles, Strawberry also is undergoing an aggressive, experimental treatment for colon cancer.

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