1. Berryman's Avatar
    Not smart

    Richard Quest, a CNN anchor and business travel specialist, was arrested early Friday after a police officer who had stopped him in Central Park for violating the park curfew found a small bag of methamphetamine in his pocket, the authorities said.

    Mr. Quest later agreed to six months of counseling in exchange for a judge’s promise to drop the charge if the therapy is successful.

    The agreement, negotiated with the Manhattan district attorney’s office, came as Mr. Quest was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on a misdemeanor charge of possessing methamphetamine and on a charge of loitering.

    Central Park is closed from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. Mr. Quest was arrested about 3:40 a.m. near 64th Street and West Drive, according to a criminal complaint.

    Mr. Quest was initially stopped for loitering, and the officer, following standard procedure, searched him, a law enforcement official said. The officer found a small zip-lock bag in Mr. Quest’s left jacket pocket, the complaint said. Mr. Quest confirmed the contents of the bag by saying, “I’ve got some meth in my pocket,” according to the complaint.

    At Friday’s arraignment, Judge Anthony J. Ferrara told Mr. Quest that the case would be dismissed and sealed if he reported back in October and demonstrated sufficient progress in his therapy. The judge also agreed that there would be no restrictions placed on Mr. Quest’s ability to travel.

    Mr. Quest, 46, looking haggard and stressed after 12 hours in custody, still dressed in blue jeans, sneakers and a navy-blue zippered jacket, declined to comment as he left the courtroom. His lawyer, Alan Abramson, said only, “Mr. Quest did not realize that the park had a curfew, and was returning to his hotel with friends.”

    Mr. Quest, who is British, is a familiar face to viewers of late-night international programming on CNN. He has his own hourlong feature program, called “Quest,” according to his biography on the CNN Web site. The biography says that he has reported on topics including the Iraq war and attends the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, every year.

    CNN declined to comment Friday on Mr. Quest’s arrest.
    04-19-08 07:13 PM