Dwight Gooden wrote in a text message to Newsday that he is "going away for a while to try and save my life” after he was arrested Monday night in Newark, New Jersey, and charged with driving while intoxicated, his second substance abuse-related arrest in six weeks.
Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said Gooden’s latest arrest occurred at 11:10 after officers noticed him driving his black 2012 Chrysler in the wrong direction on a one-way street.
Gooden, 54, also faces charges of driving under the influence and suspected cocaine possession following an arrest on June 7 in Holmdel, New Jersey, in which police say they found “two, small green zip-lock style plastic baggies containing suspected cocaine.” He faces five years in jail if convicted of that charge.
The former Mets and Yankees pitcher, who has dealt publicly with drug and alcohol abuse problems for more than three decades, wrote in a text message Tuesday that this is the worst battle he’s ever faced with drugs.
"I just like to thank everyone for their support in this horrible struggle," Gooden wrote. "My apologies to everyone I let down or disappointed. I deserve everything that's being written/talked about me . . .
“I have no excuse for my action so I am going away for a while to try and save my life. I really don't know who I am right now and definitely don't trust myself.
“This is the worst I've ever been through all my struggles. But I am going to keep fighting no matter how embarrassing, shameful or selfish I am feeling."
Gooden’s attorney, William Petrillo, declined to comment.
Ambrose said emergency medical services took Gooden to Newark’s University Hospital for further evaluation after his arrest. A hospital spokesman said Tuesday there was no patient currently at the hospital by that name and declined to provide any further information, citing health privacy laws.
“It’s sad to see the continued problems of this former Mets star,” Ambrose said, “but it’s an example of the persistent scourge of drugs and alcohol in this country and the stranglehold they have on addicts.”
Gooden has struggled with substance abuse since he missed the Mets’ world championship parade in October 1986 because, he says now, he was high on cocaine at a party by the Roosevelt Field mall.
Gooden, who was 194-112 with a 3.51 earned run average during a 16-year career, was suspended for the entire 1995 season after a failed drug test. He has dealt with a litany of criminal issues over the years, most notably choosing to spend seven months in a Florida jail in 2006 — instead of more probation time — because he told a judge he didn't think he could beat his drug problem.