Former NFL and Fresno State football player Lorenzo Neal has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor charges of drunken driving in connection with a Fourth of July accident in which he crashed his Ford pickup into a pole north of Clovis.
Attorney John Abel, representing Neal, entered his client’s plea Tuesday in Fresno County Superior Court at the Clovis courthouse. Neal, who is free on his own recognizance, did not have to attend the hearing.
Abel said this morning he has not seen all of the evidence, so he was not ready to say how he will defend Neal. He said he hopes to have a plan by Neal’s next court hearing Nov. 14.
The California Highway Patrol said the crash happened about 4:20 p.m. July 4 in the 4400 block of Copper Avenue near North Minnewawa Avenue. “He basically just ran off the road and hit a pole,” said CHP spokesman Alex Reyes said then.
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Neal was cited and released at the scene to a friend, Reyes said.
After the crash, Neal, 40, posted on his Twitter account: “For the record I did not get arrested I did not go to jail. That's how rumors get started. But I do take full responsibility for my actions!”
Neal, a star fullback for several NFL teams, is listed as chief information officer for a company called Safe Ride Solutions, which offers confidential rides for intoxicated drivers.