Friday, February 24, 2012 at 3:26 p.m.
Used to smoke base runners. Now, though...
Five-time MLB All-Star catcher Benito Santiago was "disoriented and did not know where he was at" when he was arrested next to Fort Lauderdale High School late last month, according to court documents.
The former Marlins catcher, who now lives in Fort Lauderdale, was accused of hot-boxing his Mercedes, speeding, and running a red light.
A Fort Lauderdale police officer saw Santiago speeding up NE Fourth Avenue, then turn right at a red light at NE 16th Street without stopping first, according to the arrest report.
The officer wrote that when he pulled the car over, Santiago "had his drivers window down. I detected a strong odor of cannabis emitting...
... from inside [Santiago's] vehicle."
Another officer "observed a clear bag containing a green leafy substance," and Santiago was arrested. When the officers searched him, they discovered "a Krazy Glue container that contained suspect cannabis and a small pipe with what appeared to have cannabis residue on it."
Though the arrest happened January 25, charges against Santiago have not been formally filed; we checked in with the Broward State Attorney's Office but haven't heard back.
Santiago, whose career spanned 19 seasons from 1986 to 2005, was the scourge of would-be base-stealers
in the late '80s. He was the first starting catcher for the Florida Marlins in the team's inaugural 1993 season and hit the first home run in team history
; he played two seasons with the Marlins before moving on to the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, and five other teams.
And this isn't exactly Santiago's first marijuana-themed run-in with authorities: He was questioned in Puerto Rico in 2002 after authorities discovered a FedEx box with his name on it at an airport; the box was addressed to "a home in Ponce linked to Santiago and his half-sister," according to the San Francisco Chronicle
, and contained two ounces of weed.
"I don't have any problem with things like marijuana," Santiago said at the time. "I went through everything the last six or seven years to put my life together, and I'm going to throw that away for some little s-- like this? This is stupid."
(We didn't censor the "s--" word; that's how it appeared in the Chronicle article, and we have no idea what bad word has an s and then two letters. Thought we knew 'em all.)
If you want to know some more about Santiago, he's got a website
(written in questionable English) with a badass photo montage.