Rhymes arrested for drugs, driving in wrong direction

Updated: May 21, 2004, 5:08 PM ET
Associated Press

HASTINGS, Minn. -- Former Vikings receiver George "Buster" Rhymes was arrested after driving the wrong way on a highway this week -- and police say he was still trying to puff on a crack pipe when an officer approached his car.

Rhymes, 42, played for the Vikings from 1985 to 1987.

The Minnesota State Patrol arrested Rhymes late Wednesday after an officer forced his car off of U.S. 52 to avoid a head-on collision with oncoming traffic. He was jailed early Thursday on suspicion of possession of cocaine, drunken driving, and fleeing a police officer.

A concerned driver called police around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday to report seeing a car driving erratically, with a flat tire, that hit a construction barrel. When a trooper caught up with the car, it was headed the wrong way on the highway, Patrol Capt. Jay Swanson said.

Swanson said the trooper saw Rhymes trying to take a hit off a crack pipe as he approached the car. Court records indicate lab tests later found traces of cocaine in the pipe.

The criminal complaint filed Friday said that when the trooper asked Rhymes why he didn't stop, the former athlete said, "I was out of my mind."

Dakota County prosecutors charged Rhymes on Friday with several crimes, the most serious being possession of cocaine and fleeing a police officer.

Rhymes served four months in jail in 2002 for carjacking a Lexus in White Bear Lake, where he lives. And he is awaiting sentencing in a 2003 robbery in St. Paul where he pleaded guilty to felony robbery for jumping into a woman's car and fighting her for control.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press