Rams lineman Little arrested

Sunday, April 25, 2004

LADUE, Mo. -- St. Louis Rams defensive end Leonard Little, who pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in a 1998 fatal accident in which he was driving drunk, was arrested early Saturday for driving while intoxicated.

Police in this St. Louis suburb said Little was arrested shortly before 4 a.m. for a speeding violation on westbound Interstate 64. A police spokesman said Little was booked and released after being issued two traffic summons to be handled in Ladue Municipal Court.

A June 9 court appearance has been scheduled, according to Little's attorney, Scott Rosenbloom. Rosenbloom said he still was reviewing particulars of the latest matter, but said Little has not had any law trouble since the fatal crash.

Coach Mike Martz said he learned of the arrest when he arrived at Rams Park for draft day early Saturday.

"This is something we'll have to deal with here in the next weeks," Martz said. "I don't know what happened, what transpired, so I don't feel comfortable making any comments about Leonard's situation whatsoever."

Little went to his first Pro Bowl after last season and has played with the Rams his entire six-year career. He was fifth in the NFL with 12 1/2 sacks last year despite missing a month with a torn pectoral muscle. He has 39 sacks the last three years, third-highest over that span.

Last season, Little had four sacks in Week 13 against Minnesota.

He was suspended for the first eight games of the 1999 season after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in a June 1998 crash that killed Susan Gutweiler of Oakville. Little was sentenced to 90 days in the city workhouse and four years of probation, as well as ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service.

Bill Gutweiler, Susan Gutweiler's husband, believes the law was too lenient with Little.

"He obviously hasn't learned," Gutweiler said. "I think he was a very lucky man and he got a very lucky break for what he did."

I think by achieving stardom in football, I just don't really think he realized how serious this was."

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