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Blazer wont be charged after all

Ruben Patterson's wife elects not to press felony assault charges

Ruben Patterson has squeaked out of yet another jam with the law.

The Washington County district attorney's office has decided not to pursue a case against the Portland Trail Blazer, who was arrested Nov. 25 for allegedly assaulting his wife in front of their two young children.

The decision not to prosecute marks the fourth time in six years that Patterson has escaped jail time after being arrested on felony charges. Trail Blazer president Bob Whitsitt said Patterson may still face disciplinary action from the team.

Reports of the incident by Tualatin and Sherwood police officers said Patterson's wife told them he twice choked her, but prosecutors dropped the case 'due to the facts and circumstances of this case and the victim's wishes.'

Shannon Patterson told investigating officers that her husband had been 'physically abusing' her for the last six years, but on Monday she told prosecutors she would not file charges or cooperate with the state's attempt to prosecute him.

'The officers are always scratching their heads when something like this happens, but it's hard to prosecute a case when there's an uncooperative victim,' said Tualatin police Sgt. Doug Nafziger.

Shannon Patterson told police on Nov. 25 that her husband became violent during an argument over money. She told officers that he choked her in the kitchen and again in their bedroom.

Ruben Patterson told police he grabbed his wife by the neck and pushed her down onto their bed in front of their two children.

Patterson has had three other scrapes with the law since 1996.

• In December 1996, he was arrested in Cincinnati for aggravated burglary and inflicting injury. He was not indicted.

• In June 2000, Patterson broke a man's jaw outside a Cleveland nightclub. He was charged with felony assault, but eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge, receiving a six-month jail sentence, 80 hours of community service and one year of probation.

• In September 2000, just before beginning his second season with the Seattle SuperSonics, Patterson was charged with raping the family's 24-year-old baby sitter. He pleaded no contest to one charge of attempted rape and was sentenced in May 2001 to 15 days of home detention and placed on probation for two years.