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Flavor Flav pleads not guilty in Long Island criminal case

Flavor Flav pleaded not guilty Tuesday when he faced a judge on Long Island after being arrested on a felony unlicensed driving charge after allegedly speeding on the way to his mother’s funeral, according to court records.

Flavor Flav speaks with reporters after his arraignment on Tuesday at Nassau First District Court in New York.
Photo Credit: Mike Balsamo/

The rapper – whose real name is William Drayton – was arraigned Jan. 28 at Nassau County First District Court in Hempstead. State police arrested him earlier this month and charged him with first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, speeding and unlawful possession of marijuana after pulling him over along the Meadowbrook Parkway in Hempstead. At the time, he was on his way to his mother’s funeral and was released on appearance ticket.

“I hope they will have a heart and dismiss it because of the circumstances,” Drayton said after a brief court appearance Tuesday. “Because if it wasn’t for me driving to my mother’s funeral and being late getting to my mother’s funeral, I wouldn’t have been behind the wheel in the first place to get the charge.”

His attorney, Indji Bessim, told Nassau District Court Judge Norman St. George that she was working since last week to ensure the numerous suspensions on her client’s driver’s license were cleared up.

“We did work very hard to clear all the suspensions…and we’re confident that the matter is going to be resolved,” she said outside the courtroom.

Although he was released without bail, Drayton – a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – was ordered to check in with county probation officials after the court appearance. Afterwards, he emerged from a courthouse stairwell to hug fans and family members and pose for a few quick cell phone photos.

Before leaving the courthouse, Drayton criticized the trooper who arrested him, saying the officer “didn’t have no respect for human life.” He also gave praise to another trooper and a supervising state police lieutenant, who he said offered his personal car to ensure the entertainer made it to his mother’s burial.

Drayton has an active criminal case in Las Vegas – where he currently lives – after being arrested for felony assault with a deadly weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. Prosecutors there allege he threatened his girlfriend’s 17-year-old son with a knife during an argument. That case is still pending and expected to continue in April.

Bessim said her client hopes to clear up his New York case and head back to Las Vegas by this coming weekend. He has been ordered to appear back in a Nassau County court on Friday.

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