ELIZABETH, N.J. — Ex-Major League Baseball player Lenny Dykstra pleaded not guilty Monday to drug and terroristic threat charges stemming from an altercation with an Uber driver.
The three-time All-Star, who played 12 seasons in the majors and was a member of the New York Mets’ 1986 championship team, told reporters as he left the courthouse he would “let the process handle itself and the truth will come out.”
Dykstra was indicted this month on one count each of cocaine and methamphetamine possession and with making terroristic threats in connection with the May 23 incident in Linden, where he lives.
All three crimes are punishable by up to five years in prison.
Dykstra claimed the driver tried to kidnap him after Dykstra asked to change the trip’s destination. The driver allegedly told police Dykstra held a gun to his head, though no weapon was found.
Police said they found the drugs in Dykstra’s possession.
Dykstra’s attorney, David Bahuriak, called the incident “overblown” and said Dykstra is innocent.
“Anyone who knows him, knows that,” he told reporters. “Lenny is a wild guy. Lenny is a man of the people, but Lenny’s not a bad guy, he’s not a violent guy and the evidence in this case is going to show that.”
Since retiring from baseball, Dykstra has served prison time for bankruptcy fraud, grand theft auto and money laundering. He declared bankruptcy in 2009, claiming he owed more than $31 million and had only $50,000 in assets.