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″Hawkeye” Whitney Denied Treatment at Center in Houston

March 14, 1996

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A former professional basketball player accused of robbing a White House aide will await trial in jail rather than a drug treatment center.

U.S. Magistrate Patrick Attridge refused Wednesday to allow Charles ``Hawkeye″ Whitney to attend the Houston center run by Philadelphia 76ers coach John Lucas while awaiting trial.

``The criminal offense at issue appears to have been planned. (Whitney) knew exactly what he was doing,″ Attridge wrote in a six-page opinion. ``This was not a spur of the moment response ... but was rather a cold, calloused and calculated plan to rob with the aid of a firearm.″

Whitney, whose promising National Basketball Association career was cut short by a knee injury while playing with the Kansas City Kings in the early 1980s, is charged with accosting Mark Fabiani near a subway station in Alexandria, Va., in January and forcing the White House lawyer to withdraw $1,600 from two cash machines in the District of Columbia.

Fabiani was released unhurt. A second suspect, alleged to be Whitney’s accomplice, is still at large.

Whitney told police he was forced to commit the crime because he had been accused of stealing drugs and his sister’s life had been threatened. Police said Whitney failed a drug test after his arrest.

``Reasonable, rational citizens do not react to threat against family and friends by terrorizing others,″ Attridge wrote. ``His demonstrated faulty judgment, cocaine and alcohol addictions, combine to make him a continuing threat to the safety of the community.″

Last Friday, Lucas testified before Attridge and offered to pay for Whitney to attend his clinic. Lucas tried to assure Attridge that the facility was secure and that Whitney would not be allowed to leave.

But Attridge was not convinced. He said he believes Whitney could leave the ``voluntary″ program any time he wanted and that police would need to secure an arrest warrant to have him detained again.

``By that time, he could be long gone,″ Attridge wrote.

The ruling leaves Whitney behind bars unless his attorney appeals.