|Duquesne's Stuard Baldonado arrested again on drug charge|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 06 September 2007 14:58|
Baldonado, one of five Dukes players shot on campus a year ago this month, was initially arrested Friday and charged with criminal conspiracy involving the manufacture, delivery or possession of a controlled substance. He was indefinitely suspended from the university and the basketball team on Wednesday after school officials reviewed the situation.
A few hours later on Wednesday night, Pittsburgh police said they spotted Baldonado smoking by himself on a street corner near the Duquesne campus. After being questioned, the 22-year-old Baldonado was told he would be mailed a summons charging him with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, officer David Honick said Thursday.
Baldonado told one of the officers, who also was involved in his arrest last week, that he was ``stressed out,'' according to Honick, who did not take part in the arrest.
Further complicating Baldonado's situation, The Associated Press learned Thursday through court records that Baldonado was charged in May with aggravated battery and false imprisonment in a domestic violence case in Miami-Dade County, Fla., where he once played for and attended Miami Dade College. Baldonado has a girl friend and a child there.
The 6-foot-7 Baldonado, considered one of the nation's top junior college recruits last year, never told anyone at Duquesne of those charges. The school learned of them only last week after being called by a prosecutor in Miami.
Because of the multiple arrests, it seems unlikely Baldonado will play basketball for or attend Duquesne again regardless of the outcome of his court cases - or his lawsuit against the university that resulted from last year's on-campus shootings that left him with left arm and back injuries.
Even if Baldonado is cleared, Duquesne's student code of conduct is so strict that a student can be permanently expelled for certain behavior even with the absence of a criminal conviction.
On Wednesday, Teresa Toriseva, an attorney who represents Baldonado in a civil lawsuit against the university as a result of the September 2006 shooting, said Baldonado is exploring options that will allow him to return to class.
Baldonado, from Colombia, was seriously wounded during the Sept. 17, 2006, shootings that injured four teammates. But Baldonado was making a strong recovery, and was practicing with the team in advance of a Canadian tour last week before being suspended.
Duquesne coach Ron Everhart said he was disappointed and angry with Baldonado's arrest, the first in his 14 seasons as a college head coach at McNeese State, Northeastern and Duquesne.
``We take a lot of pride in using our best instincts and gut feelings in recruiting a kid and really bringing in good character guys,'' he said Thursday. ``God knows we all, as coaches, have families and we want good kids in our programs to be good role models for our children as well as the children in our community. That's why situations like this are so disappointing and they really do hurt.''