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11 juin 2010 5 11 /06 /juin /2010 07:51

All Norberto Arroyo wants to do is to ride horses.

A series of setbacks temporarily halted that aspiration, but Arroyo might yet realize his dream.

While the promising 33-year-old jockey has cleared two important hurdles, he has one more to go   (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ battery)    .

Charges of aggravated domestic battery and a bench warrant for failure to appear for driving while license is suspended or revoked have been settled in Marion County.

He still must address a warrant from Saratoga, N.Y., saying he's a fugitive from justice for criminal possession of a controlled substance   (Sony VGP-BPS8 battery)    .

On May 12, the 5-foot-3, 115-pound jockey, who rode in many major stake races, amassed more than $37 million in purse earnings and won more than 900 races since he began riding in 1999, arrived at the Marion County Jail after being extradited from Kentucky.

He was accused of beating the mother of his children and skipping a court appearance for having a suspended driver's license     (Sony VGP-BPL9 battery)     .

"I was wrongly accused," said an elated Arroyo on Wednesday, while sitting on a bench inside the jail.

Arroyo was represented by William "Bill' Ramputi on the most serious charge - aggravated domestic battery.

The attorney told the Star-Banner on Wednesday that he talked with the State Attorney's Office and that prosecutors decided not to pursue the matter     (Sony VGP-BPL11 battery)   .

"The State Attorney Office did the right thing by dropping the charge because he wasn't responsible for any criminal action," Ramputi said.

Court records show state officials declined to pursue the charge late last month because the likelihood of conviction was minimal    (Sony VGP-BPL15 battery)    .

As for the driving charge, jail records show that on Monday, Judge John Futch gave Arroyo a 60-day sentence. He got credit for his time in jail, and the judge suspended the remaining days   (ASUS Eee PC 1000HE Battery)     .

Arroyo told the Star-Banner in May that he was in court, but had to leave early because that morning he had fallen off a horse, which ran over him. The pain was so severe, Arroyo said, he left court and went to Munroe Regional Medical Center.

His driver's license was suspended, he said, for failure to pay tickets in Massachusetts    (Dell Inspiron 6400 battery).

On Wednesday morning during a brief first appearance in front of Futch, Arroyo signed extradition papers sent to the jail from Saratoga, N.Y., accusing him of being a fugitive from justice for criminal possession of a controlled substance.

At times while waiting for his name to be called, Arroyo, with his eyes closed and arms just a few inches from his face, knelt down and prayed     (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ4000 Battery)   .

He said the incident stemmed from a traffic stop last summer while he was riding at a Saratoga meet. He said his vehicle was searched, and under the passenger's seat was a small amount of cocaine.

He said he went to every court date and pleaded guilty to the charge March 5     (Toshiba PA3399U-2BAS Battery)     .

He said he was supposed to be sentenced on May 7, to serve six months in a boot camp facility. He was unable to attend the sentencing hearing because he was locked up in the Marion County Jail at the time, which led to the fugitive charge.

Arroyo says he's ready to move on with his life   (IBM ThinkPad T40 Battery).

"I just want to resume riding horses," he said.

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