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Tyson arrested in Arizona drug possession charges

india Updated: Dec 30, 2006 00:02 IST
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Mike Tyson was arrested early on Friday on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of cocaine after police stopped him shortly after he left a Scottsdale nightclub.

Sergeant Larry Hall said the former world heavyweight boxing champion was stopped after his car almost struck a sheriff's vehicle while leaving the club at about 1:45 am local time.

"He showed signs of impairment and voluntarily submitted to field sobriety tests," said Hall, a member of the Buckeye Police Department who was working in the area as part of a holiday DUI task force.

Hall said the 40-year-old Tyson was placed under arrest after "showing more signs of impairment" during the field sobriety tests. Police then found cocaine on him and in his car, Hall said. The boxer was alone in the car.

Tyson was booked at the Maricopa County jail, isolated from other inmates for his own safety, and was set to make an initial court appearance later on Friday, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.

Tyson, who shot to fame by knocking out Trevor Berbick in 1986 to become the youngest heavyweight champion in history at age 20, has had several run-ins with the law over the years, including serving prison time for rape. His most infamous incident was in the ring in 1997 when he bit Evander Holyfield's ear during a fight.

Arpaio said Tyson had been to the Maricopa County jail before, but as a guest talking to juvenile offenders about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

"The irony is he did a great job with these kids - stay away from drugs, don't drink, stay out of trouble," the sheriff said.