September 20, 2013 | 2 comments | 2177 views
Olympic gold medalist arrested in Long Beach
LBPD says star athlete was walking on the boardwalk's bike lane, refused to move
Derrick Adkins, 43, who starred on the track team at Malverne High School, went on to win a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and now lives in West Hempstead, faces an obstruction charge after he was arrested in Long Beach two weeks ago and charged with running from a police officer.
According to Long Beach police, Adkins was arrested after he repeatedly refused to move out of the bike lane as he walked on the boardwalk on Sept. 11, at 11:30 p.m. A police spokesman said that Adkins tried to flee from an officer patrolling the boardwalk who was attempting to issue him a summons after three warnings.
“The officer approached him and asked him if he could please clear out of the bike lane,” said LBPD spokesman Lt. Eric Cregeen. “Apparently this happened three times, and each time he didn’t comply.”
When the officer stopped Adkins a third time, Cregeen added, Adkins became “verbally combative and disorderly,” and ran away from the officer. “The officer … called for additional cars,” Cregeen said. “With [Adkins’s] demeanor, he thought he might become physically combative.
“The defendant ran, and was stopped at Riverside Boulevard and placed under arrest,” Cregeen continued. “He wouldn’t allow the officer to issue him a summons, necessitating that he be caught and physically restrained by a few officers.”
Adkins was arrested at around midnight, charged with second-degree obstructing governmental administration, and is due in Long Beach City Court on Oct. 4. An attorney for Adkins, Fred Brewington, said that his client maintains his innocence. “He will have his day in court,” Brewington said.
In a published report, Adkins cited personal issues and admitted he had made a mistake in running from the officer. “When the guy yelled at me, I yelled back, and I ran,” he told Newsday. “I got like 50 meters, and I realized, ‘What am I doing?’”
He said he then put his hands behind his back, and said, “I’m sorry, officer.”
Adkins also told Newsday that he comes down to the boardwalk to jog and “de-stress.”
Adkins was a standout in the hurdles at Malverne High, winning state titles in 1987 and 1988, before graduating from Georgia Tech and going on to win the 400-meter hurdles at the Atlanta Olympics.
He is currently the director of the New Balance Track and Field Armory Center in Manhattan, and works with children and teens in track programs in New York City.