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Former Pitcher Gooden A Fugitive

Dwight Gooden, pitching for the New York Yankees, Sept. 25, 2000.
AP (file)
Former baseball star Dwight Gooden allegedly fled police after being stopped for drunken driving and his nephew, New York Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield, says there is nothing his family can do to help anymore.

"I've done pretty much everything you could possibly do," Sheffield said Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. "It just comes to a point where you have to let him go through what he's got to go through. Sometimes, it is God's plan for us to back off and let him do it, because the family has tried everything."

Gooden, who has a history of drug abuse, left the scene of a traffic stop early Monday after refusing to get out of his 2004 BMW to take a field sobriety test, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said Tuesday.

The officer stopped Gooden's car because he was weaving in traffic near downtown Tampa, McElroy said. Gooden, a Tampa native and resident, is awaiting trial on a domestic violence charge.

"The officer pulls over the car and immediately notices that the driver is under the influence," she said. "He has bloodshot, glassy eyes, his speech was slurred and he has a strong odor of alcohol."

Gooden handed the officer his driver's license but refused two requests to get out of the car, McElroy said. He then drove off with the officer still holding his license.

Police chose not pursue for safety reasons, McElroy said, but went to his two known addresses to look for him. They also contacted the Yankees and his mother, she said.

Gooden was a special adviser for the Yankees, but the team says he quit in April, about a month after he was arrested for allegedly hitting his live-in girlfriend.