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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Hornets guard James Bouknight was found intoxicated and unconscious and holding a gun with his drive-by vehicle before being arrested Sunday morning for impaired driving, according to Charlotte Mecklenburg County Police.
Police released new details of Bouknight’s arrest on Wednesday.
Police said they responded to reports that a person passed out in their vehicle in a Charlotte parking lot on Sunday morning, blocking traffic.
According to the police report, officers saw Bouknight unconscious inside the vehicle with the vehicle running and running. He had the handgun in his hands.
TMZ has acquired a photo of James Bouknight passed out in his car with a bag of Doritos and a Glock handgun in his lap before his DWI arrest pic.twitter.com/x3ClgxcCDB
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) October 19, 2022
Officers set up a perimeter and attempted to wake Bouknight for about an hour using a public address system, blasting horns, and using lights.
Police said once Bouknight was awake, he refused to comply with orders and appeared confused for several minutes. They said he ate food inside his vehicle and then crashed into two police cars – one in front of him and another behind him.
Bouknight eventually left the vehicle and was arrested.
Attempts to reach Bouknight’s agent Nick Blatchford for comment on Wednesday were not immediately successful.
Bouknight said at the scene he drank about four shots of tequila before returning home, according to the police report.
Officer Craig Warren said in the report that Bouknight had glassy eyes and a strong smell of alcohol coming from his breath. Bouknight was placed under arrest for DWI for being in a public space and driving a moving vehicle in the driving lane while intoxicated.
Bouknight was given $2,500 bail.
The team said Monday it was reviewing the situation and had no further comment.
Bouknight, who was a first-round pick by the Hornets in 2021, told reporters after practice Tuesday, “I just wanted to apologize for being a pre-season distraction for my teammates and what we have. ”
He called the arrest “disappointing”, adding: “I’m trying to learn from it, to be able to stay strong, move on and keep growing.”
He also said Hornets coach Steve Clifford has been supportive of him since he was hired as head coach.
“Cliff has been there for me every step of the way since he arrived here,” Bouknight said. “Having a coach who truly believes in you and invests in helping you and making you better means everything to me.”
Charlotte opens the regular season Wednesday night at San Antonio and Bouknight is active for the game.
Bouknight also had an alcohol-related incident while a freshman at the University of Connecticut in 2019.
Police say Bouknight smelled of alcohol and ran away from an officer after driving another student’s car into a traffic sign near campus.
Bouknight was charged with evading responsibility, interfering with the police, driving without a license and driving too fast for the conditions, and he was put on probation, leaving him without a criminal record.