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Charges of drug abuse and reckless driving against former boxing

July 8, 1986

CINCINNATI (AP) _ Charges of drug abuse and reckless driving against former boxing champion Aaron Pryor were referred to a Hamilton County grand jury Tuesday.

Police arrested Pryor, 30, of Cincinnati, on May 9 and later charged him with cocaine abuse, reckless driving, driving under the influence and disorderly conduct.

Hamilton County Municipal Judge Dolores Hildebrandt on Tuesday referred most of the charges to a county grand jury for review. Pryor has already pleaded no contest to the disorderly conduct charge.

The judge rejected a request by Leslie Gaines, Pryor’s lawyer, to dismiss the drug charge. Gaines said there was no evidence that Pryor, a former junior welterweight boxing champion, willingly took cocaine and that police found no cocaine on Pryor or in his car.

County prosecutors said results of a urine test taken May 9 indicated that Pryor had used cocaine. Police Sgt. Keith Groppe testified that Pryor was stopped because he had been driving recklessly and erratically. Groppe said he noticed ″severe track marks″ and scabs on Pryor’s arms and said he thought they were needle marks caused by drug injections.

Pryor retired after his Sept. 10, 1983, knockout of Alexis Arguello in Las Vegas, Nev. The World Boxing Association stripped Pryor of his junior welterweight title after he refused the WBA’s order to defend the title against challenger Johnny Bumphus. Pryor ended his retirement in March 1984, but his planned comeback this year was postponed when he developed eye trouble.

Pryor has had a rash of personal problems in recent years, including a divorce and a fight with his manager, Cincinnati restaurant operator Buddy LaRosa. That dispute ended in October 1983 when Pryor reached an out-of-court agreement to abide by terms of the contract which makes LaRosa his manager through 1987.

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