Former Terp Steve Francis charged with threatening officer in Houston during traffic stop

Former Maryland and NBA star Steve Francis has been charged with felony retaliation after prosecutors say he threatened to assault a police officer during a traffic stop in Houston on Saturday.

Francis also faces a misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charge, according to court records.


TMZ, which first reported Francis' arrest, said he was stopped for driving 85 mph in a 60 mph zone at about 11:20 p.m.

After being stopped, police said Francis smelled of alcohol and refused to take a field sobriety test. Police said Francis was uncooperative and more officers were called in. TMZ reported that Francis vowed "revenge" against the police.

Online jail records show he was released on $5,500 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.

It marks the second time that Francis, 39, was charged with DWI in Houston, where he played for the Rockets and now lives. He was also charged there in 2001.

Francis, who played only one season (1998-99) at Maryland, was the No. 2 overall  pick in the 1999 NBA draft. Drafted by the Vancouver (now Memphis) Grizzlies, Francis forced a trade to Houston, where he played until being traded to Orlando for Tracy McGrady in 2004.

Francis was the league's rookie of the year in 2000 and three-time NBA All-Star (2002-04).

Francis finished his NBA career with the Rockets in 2008 and then played briefly in China. Since retiring in 2009, Francis established a foundation in Montgomery County, where he grew up, and has been involved in a number of businesses. Francis reportedly suffers from Meniere's Disease, which causes vertigo and other inner-ear issues.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.