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Boxer arrested on suspicion of driving under influence

March 20, 1997

FORT SCOTT, Kan. (AP) _ Boxer Tommy Morrison was arrested Thursday on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, violating the terms of a suspended sentence for carrying a loaded handgun.

Morrison, of Jay, Okla., was pulled over about 3 a.m. for driving 52 mph in a 30 mph zone, said Police Chief Larry Dixon. Morrison was the only person in the pickup truck near downtown, Dixon said.

``The officer originally observed the vehicle, with radar, speeding,″ Dixon said. ``It weaved across the center line a couple of times and weaved back.″

Dixon said the alcohol level in Morrison’s blood was 0.16. The legal limit in Kansas is 0.08.

Morrison’s Jay telephone number is non-published. His attorney, Stuart Campbell, did not return phone calls.

The 28-year-old fighter pleaded guilty Oct. 28 in Delaware County, Okla., to transporting a loaded firearm. Morrison, who is HIV positive, received a six-month suspended sentence and a $100 fine in that case. He also was ordered to spend 30 hours of community service talking to schoolchildren about AIDS.

That sentence was to run concurrently with a plea bargain in March, when he pleaded no contest to two counts of assault and battery against a Delaware County woman.

Thursday’s arrest is a violation of Morrison’s suspended sentence, said Loretta Kirby, a secretary for the Delaware County District Attorney’s office. Kirby said prosecuting attorneys would file a motion to revoke the suspension once the office is formerly notified.

Morrison returned to boxing in September after retiring in February 1996, just days after learning he was infected with the AIDS-causing virus.

His retirement announcement was followed by a flurry of new HIV testing regulations by U.S. state licensing boards and a ban on fighters found to be carrying the virus.

Morrison said he decided to return to pro boxing once he became certain the disease could not be spread in the ring. He also said he wanted to raise money and awareness to fight AIDS.

He knocked out Marcus Rhode in the first round of a fight in Japan in November and donated his estimated $500,000 winnings to an AIDS charity.

Morrison was booked into Bourbon County Jail on the driving under the influence accusation and released a few hours later. His arraignment in municipal court is April 17.

``He was very cooperative,″ Dixon said.

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