A judge in New Jersey dropped charges against baseball great Lenny Dykstra of threatening to kill an Uber driver last year after he agreed Friday to plead guilty to disorderly conduct, according to reports.
In exchange for the plea, Dykstra, 56, saw the charge he faced stemming from the May 2018 incident — third-degree terroristic threats — reduced to a petty disorderly persons offense by Superior Court Judge Lisa Miralles Walsh during a hearing in Union County. Walsh also dropped drug possession charges Dykstra faced, NJ.com reports.
“My lawyer did a great job of presenting the facts,” Dykstra said after the hearing. “I’m happy this chapter of my life is behind me.”
But Dykstra said the altercation that ended with his arrest outside of police headquarters in Linden, roughly 20 miles southwest of New York City, cost him big bucks in the form of a reality television show he was trying to develop with Amazon that was scuttled after the incident.
“This cost me potentially millions of dollars in all kind of things,” Dykstra told the website.
“I hope you have learned a lesson from this,” Judge Walsh told Dykstra, who had faced up to five years in prison. “I wish you the best of luck.”
Dykstra’s attorney, David Bahuriak, submitted two motions during Friday’s hearing, including one that asked Walsh to dismiss the entire case against the former All-Star since he was the victim who actually called police.
Jurors did not get to hear Dykstra’s 911 call, but a transcript of grand jury proceedings obtained by NJ.com reveals that the former Mets and Phillies outfielder repeatedly told a police dispatcher that he was being kidnapped by an Uber driver named Brian Lutty.
Lutty told police that he argued with Dykstra over the trip’s destination before Dykstra held an attaché case to his head and threatened to kill him.
“He told me he was going to shoot me and put [the bag] to the back of my head,” Lutty said, according to a police body camera recording.
No weapon was found in Dykstra’s possession, but cops said they found a small amount of cocaine, marijuana and a glass pipe in his bags.
Walsh ultimately granted the motion to suppress evidence of the drugs allegedly found in Dykstra’s possession because they were found in bags and suitcases in the Uber ride’s backseat and trunk, MyCentralJersey.com reports.
A search of the bags was not justified since Dykstra had been removed from the vehicle by police at that point and therefore didn’t pose a safety threat, according to the website.
Dykstra now faces no jail time in connection to the incident, but still must pay a $125 fine and have no contact with Lutty, according to the website.