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Coleman: In The Toilet Again

Charlotte Hornets forward Derrick Coleman could face criminal charges for allegedly urinating in the dining room of a popular downtown restaurant.

The 6-foot-9 Detroit native allegedly relieved himself early Saturday in front of dozens of diners at Intermezzo Italian Ristorante, Police Chief Benny Napoleon said.

Coleman's attorney, Harold MacDonald, told the Detroit Free Press, "The story is totally wrong."

MacDonald said Coleman was in the bar with boxer Thomas Hearns and Indiana Pacers guard Jalen Rose when he spilled a drink on his pants and stood to wipe it off. MacDonald said an employee thought Coleman was urinating and notified the manager, the Free Press said.

The alleged incident happened about 1:30 a.m. Coleman, 32, immediately was asked to leave. Police arrived 15 minutes later and Coleman was neither arrested nor ticketed.

But if witnesses testify against him, Coleman could be charged with indecent and obscene conduct, Napoleon told The Detroit News. The misdemeanor carries a fine of up to $100.

"It's a big misunderstanding," Coleman told Detroit television station WJBK. "I'm going to leave it alone until I can straighten it out."

It is the fourth time in the past five years that Coleman has had a brush with the law.

A Detroit Northern graduate who has a home in Detroit, Coleman was arrested April 13 and charged with interfering with a police officer while performing his duty. Coleman was released on $100 bond.

In 1995, Coleman was arrested and charged with refusing to move his truck and swearing at a police officer in Detroit. The jury failed to reach a verdict and the case ended in a mistrial.

In 1994, prosecutors in Manhattan charged Coleman, who was then with the New Jersey Nets, with punching someone at a bar. The charges were later dropped.

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