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Police suspect one-time Clipper LeRon Ellis of driving under the influence of drugs

Former NBA player arrested

February 21, 2013|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com
  • LeRon Ellis was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs in Glendale.
LeRon Ellis was arrested on suspicion of driving under… (Courtesy of the…)

A former NBA player who had a short stint with the Clippers was arrested this weekend on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs after he was pulled over by Glendale police for allegedly speeding.

Police on Sunday stopped LeRon Ellis — who played three seasons in the NBA in the 1990s — in his 2007 Chrysler 300 sedan about 11:31 p.m. at San Fernando Road and Goodwin Avenue in Los Angeles after he was spotted driving 50 mph in a 35 mph zone, according to Glendale police. His license plate lamplight also wasn't working, which was a violation, police said.

Ellis, who officers said appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance, was asked to perform several field sobriety tests, Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

Ellis, 43, of Glendale, was arrested a short time later, as was his passenger, Daniel Lingua, 43, of Los Angeles, who had a vial of cocaine in his pants pocket, according to police.

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Lingua and Ellis reportedly met for a drink at Big Fish Bar and Grill in the 5200 block of San Fernando Road. They left the bar and began heading over to Bigfoot Lodge in Atwater Village when they were stopped, police said.

Ellis' NBA career included a stint in 1991 with the Los Angeles Clippers, where he was a first-round pick and played 29 games. The following year, he moved on to the Charlotte Hornets and played 50 games.

His last year in the NBA was with Miami Heat, where he played 12 games.

His father is NBA player LeRoy Ellis, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1962 and went on to play for the Baltimore Bullets, Portland Trailblazers and Philadelphia 76ers. LeRoy Ellis, a member of the 1972 Lakers championship team, died last year after battling cancer.

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Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.

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