Friday, September 23, 2011
Denny McLain arrested on fraud warrant
DETROIT -- Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLain has been arrested at the Michigan border with Canada on a fugitive fraud warrant issued in Louisiana.
Customs agents learned of the warrant Thursday when McLain became disoriented during construction and inadvertently drove onto the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Jeffery Wilson said Friday. He turned around before entering Canada.
"He asked if he could turn around when he realized where he was at," Wilson said. "Whenever you come up to the border you're inspected and the officer took his ID."
The warrant was issued Aug. 26 by the St. Charles Sheriff's Department in Louisiana. The alleged fraud involved more than $1,500, St. Charles Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Dwayne LaGrange said.
"It looks like Mr. McLain had a joint business venture in Louisiana with another person and did not fully compensate for the scrap metal or scrap iron that was brought to their business," LaGrange said. "We had several complaints so the warrant was issued."
McLain was arraigned Friday and released on $10,000 bond with an extradition hearing set for Oct. 4. Defense attorney Josh Fahlsing said McLain was unaware of the warrant and that it "stemmed from business negotiations he was involved in in Louisiana."
"This whole warrant and charge is really a mistake," Fahlsing said. "Our intent is to get this cleared up, hopefully, before we have to do the extradition hearing."
Once one of the most feared pitchers in baseball, McLain has had repeated run-ins with the legal system after leaving baseball. He was convicted in 1996 of stealing money from a pension fund.
He was arrested in 2008 in Livingston County, northwest of Detroit, for missing an earlier court hearing on a civil case.
McLain won the 1968 American League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young awards after winning 31 games and leading Detroit to the World Series.
At the time of his arrest Thursday, about 60 miles northeast of Detroit, McLain was driving someone else's sport utility vehicle, Wilson said.