Some People's Kids: Tales From Behind The Bars

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tales From Behind The Bars

It's always unfortunate when sports and prison intertwine. It's also inevitable. Like Big Poppa said, "Mo Money, Mo problems." Today there are two Minnesota sports/jail stories. Both are no surprise, but sad none the less.

Isaiah "J.R." Rider, inventor of the east bay funk dunk and 5th overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1993 draft is once again in jail. This time he is accused of auto theft after being arrested early Saturday morning in the skid row district of Los Angeles. He has since been released on bail to await trial.

Rider has had a history of law trouble that dates back to his college days when he was arrested for throwing a milkshake through the drive-through window of a Jack-in-the-box. During the 95-96 season Rider was convicted of 5th degree assault after kicking the manager of a sports bar. Rider had a few more brushes with the law during his playing years, none worse than possession of Marijuana and possession of an illegal cell phone, but once his career was over the real trouble started. In January of 2006 he was charged with kidnapping and domestic assault. In February of 2007 he plead guilty to felony cocaine possession and evading an officer. In January of this year Rider was charged with unlawful Firearm possession after getting into an argument with a taxi driver.

The other sports related jailing is not about an actual athlete. Souksangouane Phengsene was jailed Sunday night for suspicion of DWI. Most people don't remember that name, let alone have the skill to properly pronounce it, but Phengsene was the man who killed Malik Sealy in 2000 on his way home from Kevin Garnett's birthday party. Souk was drunk that night as well and was charged with criminal vehicular homicide. When he crashed into Sealy Phengsene was driving the wrong way down highway 100.

In 1997 he was charged with drunken driving in Des Moines and again in 2006 in Crystal. Unfortunately, since he plead guilty to vehicular homicide and not DWI in the Sealy crash the 2006 charge was not enhanced. Hopefully the judge will take a good long look at this man's driving record, throw him in jail for a while and rip up his license forever.

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