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The Fred Column

September 01, 1999

Fred Martin

So, what do you think of this Dennis Rodman guy?

One of the major topics of conversation Friday at a men's breakfast group

I belong to was the erstwhile basketballplayer's recent arrest (as you

can see, we don't undertake much serious conversation at our monthly

gatherings).

"Did he live in Newport Beach when you did?" some of the boys wanted to

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know. Where does he live? Where was he arrested? What was the exact

charge?I responded, in order: Yes, but I never met him or saw him. On the

beach in West Newport, the leading party-hearty section of town. Woody's

Wharf. Being (allegedly, of course) drunk in public.

And thanks to Greg Risling's story in the Daily Pilot last week, I was

able to pass on the delicious tidbit that Hurricane Dennis' house is the

leading cop stop in the city. Six calls to quell outrageously noisy

parties -- the most recent coming less than 24 hours after his arrest at

Woody's.

So far, at least, Rodman has only been fined. Methinks he's earned

something more significant.

If I'm not mistaken, there is a provision in Newport's noisy-party law

that allows officers to cart the host off to jail if repeated calls have

been made. If there is, it's about time to crank that up.

And I can hear Judge Susanne Shaw saying it now: "Mr. Rodman, it's

obvious to the court that these fines mean nothing to a multimillionaire

superstar such as you purport to be.

"It's also obvious that you have no concern whatsoever for the peace,

comfort and quality of life of your neighbors. Thirty days!

"And should you ever come before this court again on similar charges, I

am ordering the Newport Beach Police Department and the District Attorney

to research the red-light abatement statutes and determine how they might

apply to your situation.

"Next case."

People here in Colorado basically think Rodman is a jerk. "He looks like

a jerk, talks like a jerk and swaggers like a jerk, so I must assume he

is a jerk," one of the fellows said, paraphrasing the old duck analogy.

I told him I had no firsthand experience that would allow me to make such

a judgment. But I would put up my personal fortune he was absolutely

correct.

The only problem with sending Rodman to jail is, he would simply turn his

sentence into a circus. He would hold court, not serve time.

Jailers would be asking for autographs and the media would flock to the

county jail seeking interviews with the ex-Laker. They'd want photo ops

of Dennis mopping the floor and going through the chow line. He'd

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