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Rodney King Charged With Drunk Driving in Pennsylvania

May 22, 1995 GMT

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) _ Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by police sparked the Los Angeles riots three years ago, was charged with drunk driving after he refused to take a blood-alcohol test, police said.

Officers stopped King at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday after he was involved in a one-car accident and tried to make a U-turn near New Castle, according to the Union Township police report.

Patrolman Clint Garver said he smelled alcohol on his breath. King was taken to a hospital but refused to take the test, according to the report.

He was arraigned early today before District Justice David Rishel. King was cooperative and was released on his own recognizance after he agreed to appear at a May 30 hearing, police said.

King, 30, lives in a suburb of Los Angeles. He was in the New Castle area, northwest of Pittsburgh, to attend a funeral.

The March 1991 beating, videotaped by a man who lived nearby, occurred after officers spotted King driving erratically and he led them in a chase.

Riots broke out in Los Angeles on April 29, 1992, when four white officers were acquitted of state charges in the beating. King is black. Two of the officers were later convicted on federal civil rights charges, and King won a $3.8 million verdict from the city.