Louisiana-based jockey Joe Patin Jr. was arrested Feb. 29 in Beaux Bridge, La., on charges including possession of crack cocaine and reckless driving.
The 39-year-old Patin was arrested after being involved in two traffic accidents and leaving the scene of one, The Times-Picayune, reported. Patin was booked into the St. Martin Parish jail on 11 charges. He bonded out of jail March 3.
The New Orleans newspaper reported crack cocaine was found inside his vehicle as was the pharmaceutical known as Zolpidem (a generic name for the sleeping aid Ambien). The Times-Picayune also reported Patin was charged with criminal damage to property; trespassing; reckless operation of a vehicle; failure to report an accident; violating the law against open containers; driving without proof of insurance; improper display of license plate; no brake tag; and hit-and-run involving a car.
Charles Gardiner, executive director of the Louisiana Racing Commission, said his office is gathering the facts of the case. He said the matter would be turned over to the full commission and it is likely Patin will lose his riding license.
Patin, whose career has been interrupted several times by suspensions related to substance abuse, was awarded a conditional exercise riders license in November 2006 and regained his jockey’s license in April 2007. Gardiner said he was awarded the licenses with the condition that he submit to mandatory drug testing and until his recent arrest had lived up to the conditions.
He first lost his license in October 1999 for failure to submit to a hair analysis at Louisiana Downs. It was his sixth violation of the state commission’s substance abuse regulations. During the same time he was arrested in connection with a burglary. He pleaded guilty to the burglary charges and was a given a suspended sentence with three years probation.
Until his recent arrest, Patin ranked ninth in the Fair Grounds jockey standings in victories and earnings. From 370 mounts, he has 28 wins, 51 second-place finishes, and 48 show efforts. His mounts have earned $908,959.