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Herren disputes version by police

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. -- Former Celtic Chris Herren, who was arrested on drug charges after passing out in his car, disputes police reports that he had 18 empty packets of heroin in his car and refused a drug test.

Herren, 29, of Portsmouth, was charged Friday with driving while intoxicated, driving while in possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, driving after his license had been revoked, and refusal to submit to a drug test.

He was released on $4,000 surety bail and is set to appear in court a week from today.

Portsmouth police were called to a Dunkin' Donuts Friday morning after Herren, officers said, crashed his car into a wall near the drive-thru.

Sgt. Harry Leonard said police found Herren unconscious in the car and had to smash a window to give him medical treatment.

Leonard said Herren apparently suffered a seizure while waiting in line at the drive-thru, which caused Herren's black 2004 Chrysler to shoot forward and ram into a brick wall behind the doughnut shop.

Herren, a former star player for Durfee High School in Fall River, Mass., told The Herald News Tuesday that he didn't have a seizure.

He said he drove to the shop to get his children some doughnuts, and "some lady was in reverse and she hit my car. My head smashed into the windshield and I went unconscious. I was in a car accident."

Police said after Herren was removed from the car, they found 18 empty packets containing heroin residue and paraphernalia. Herren said there were seven empty packets.

"I don't deny this has been an issue for me," he said. "I've struggled with this for a long time. I know I have a problem, but I haven't touched the stuff for months."

Herren also denied police claims he refused a drug test.

"I don't know what they're talking about," he said.

Herren played 70 games in the NBA with the Nuggets and the Celtics from 1999 to 2001. He was drafted by Denver in the second round, 33d overall, in the 1999 NBA draft and scored a career-high 18 points against the Dallas Mavericks April 6, 2000.

Herren was traded to the Celtics in October 2000 and released by Boston in October 2001.

This fall, Herren was playing for the Dakota Wizards of the Continental Basketball Association. The team's general manager, Jane Link, told the Herald News that Herren would be released.

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