Wilson Pickett charged with drunk driving across lawn

ENGLEWOOD, N.J. -- Soul singer Wilson Pickett has been charged with drunken driving for taking his four-wheel-drive vehicle across the lawn of his neighbor, the mayor of Englewood, and threatening him, police said Wednesday.

In his latest run-in with the law, Pickett, a star of the Memphis soul scene in the 1960s and 1970s, also was charged with resisting arrest and possession of a weapons, a baseball bat and a sheathed hunting knife.


Pickett, 50, was arrested early Tuesday and spent the day in the police lockup. He was released in the late afternoon after posting 10 percent of his $25,000 bail.

The singer, known as the Wicked Pickett during his heyday, and Mayor Donald Aronson have lived side by side for 20 years. Police said they did not know what triggered Pickett's alleged outburst but he has reportedly complained to city officials recently about construction in the neighborhood.

Pickett allegedly shouted, 'I'm going to kill that ... mayor,' as he drove his four-wheel-drive Chevrolet Silverado across Aronson's lawn, carving a set of tracks in the grass. He then drove wrong way down the street and was arrested at about 4 a.m.


Police said he refused to take a breathalyzer test.

Pickett is a member of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and his hits include two rock-soul classics, 'In the Midnight Hour' and 'Mustang Sally,' along with 'Funky Broadway,' 'I'm a Midnight Mover,' 'Land of a Thousand Dances' and 'Ninety and a Half (Won't Do).'

In 1987, Pickett was convicted of taking a loaded shotgun into a tavern and sentenced to two years on probation, while he received a conditional discharge in 1974 for firing a shotgun into a hotel room where the Isley Brothers were staying.

Police said the charges against Pickett will be handled in municipal court.

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