DA won't bring drunk-driving charges against Joey Porter

DA won't bring drunk-driving charges against Joey Porter »Play Video
Joey Porter (AP Photo/Hans Deryk, File)
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- NFL linebacker Joey Porter won't face prosecution after his weekend arrest for allegedly driving drunk and resisting arrest.

"We are very greatful to have all the charges dropped," said a jubilant Christy Porter, wife of the football star. "I knew once the district attorney reviewed the evidence ... that he would do the right thing ... and exonerate him."

Mark Pafford with the Kern County District Attorney's Office said Wednesday that it wouldn't bring charges against Porter, who was arrested early Saturday in the parking lot of a Taco Bell in the northwest part of the city.

Pafford said the district attorney's office decided not to pursue possible misdemeanor charges of drunk driving, resisting arrest and battery on a peace officer, because it didn't foresee a successful jury conviction.

Porter, one of the most successful athletes to hail from Bakersfield and a Foothill High School graduate, hired attorney Daniel Rodriguez on Monday. Rodriguez quickly brought the arresting officer's credibility into question when he brought to light Officer Jeritt Greer's arrest in October for allegedly driving drunk.

Pafford said Greer's drunk-driving arrest didn't factor into the decision to pass on charges against Porter.

Court documents obtained by Eyewitness News show the 33-year-old California Highway Patrol officer was arrested at 4:05 in the morning on Oct. 22 on the 2400 block of Cedar Street when he was spotted by an undercover Kern County Sheriff's deputy.

CHP officials in Bakersfield have refused to comment on Greer's situation or answer why Greer was not assigned to desk duty rather than being out on patrol, citing this as a "personnel matter."

"It's handled on a case-by-case basis, depending on the particular case," said Sacramento CHP spokesperson Jaime Coffee. She said she could not comment specifically on Greer's case.

Greer pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts of DUI, and his next court hearing is scheduled for April 9.

The CHP said Porter was belligerent the night of his arrest, which occurred after Porter's friend in another vehicle was pulled over. Porter allegedly refused to provide his license, refused to exit his vehicle and reportedly slapped the officer's hand when the officer reached inside to unlock the door.

Porter's attorney, however, claimed that Greer "hit Joey in the face" during the arrest.

Porter hasn't addressed the arrest personally, because he went to Arizona earlier this week for off-season workouts with the Cardinals. He signed a three-year contract as a free agent with the Cardinals about a week ago.