Sports agent Steinberg facing charges of being drunk in public

Updated: October 31, 2008, 3:32 PM ET
Associated Press

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Leigh Steinberg, a prominent sports agent who helped inspire the movie "Jerry Maguire" and has acknowledged a battle with alcoholism, was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public.

Police said Friday that Steinberg, 59, was taken into custody about 8 p.m. on Oct. 22 after they got a report about a man "screaming and attempting to climb a hill" above the Newport Auto Center, Lt. Bill Hartford said.

Officers detected a "strong odor" of alcohol and Steinberg's speech was slurred, although no alcoholic beverages were found, Hartford said.

"It appeared that he couldn't care for himself and others" and Steinberg was taken to the city jail, where he was booked for investigation of public intoxication and released on his own recognizance pending a Dec. 8 court hearing, Hartford said.

A telephone message left for Steinberg was not immediately returned Friday.

Steinberg signed a statement that said police planned to seek criminal charges and promising to appear in court, Hartford said.

But there was no record of Steinberg's latest arrest in the district attorney's computer, so it was not immediately possible to determine whether he had been charged, officials in the DA's office said.

The arrest was first reported Friday in The Orange County Register.

Steinberg has represented boxer Oscar de la Hoya and quarterbacks Troy Aikman, Steve Young and Drew Bledsoe.

In April 2007, Steinberg was arrested for investigation of drunken driving after his Mercedes hit three parked cars and knocked over a fire hydrant. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.

In 1997, Steinberg was sentenced to community service after being arrested in Newport Beach for investigation of drunken driving when he hit a car, injuring the driver.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press