LOS ANGELES — Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph was arrested on a marijuana charge after several police cars were vandalized when a large gathering became unruly at a Los Angeles housing project, authorities said Thursday.
Randolph, 36, was taken into custody late Wednesday on suspicion of possessing marijuana with intent to sell, according to Los Angeles Police Department Officer Norma Eisenman.
"The charges are false and misleading," Randolph's agent and attorney Raymond Brothers told The Associated Press on Thursday. "We're looking at all options to resolve this matter."
Police on patrol observed a crowd drinking, smoking pot, blasting music and blocking streets at the Nickerson Gardens project in Watts, authorities said.
The officers observed three people, including Randolph, "reach for their waist bands" and then run away from the officers, Eisenman said in a statement.
An officer detained one of the three men — who was questioned and released — while Randolph and another man, Stanley Walton, went inside a home, police said.
A crowd began to form and the bystanders tried to block the officers, authorities said. Officers were able to enter the home and arrested Randolph and Walton inside.
After the arrests, the crowd grew and people began throwing bottles and rocks, police said.
Five police cars and one sheriff's vehicle ended up with smashed windows and slashed tires. No officers were hurt.
Walton, 43, was arrested on suspicion of carrying a gun as an ex-convict. A police spokeswoman said she didn't know if he has an attorney.
Police recovered two guns, impounded two vehicles and seized narcotics, police said.
Randolph, a 16-year league veteran, spent eight seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies before signing with the Kings in July. The Kings issued a statement Thursday saying the team was aware of the situation and would have no further comment at this time.
The two-time NBA All-Star played for Michigan State University before being drafted in 2001 by the Portland Trail Blazers. Randolph also played for the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers.
Associated Press Writer Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.