Scott Weiland continued to buttress his dubious reputation Monday when the 30-year-old frontman for the Stone Temple Pilots was arrested in New York's East Village and charged with criminal trespassing and criminal possession of a controlled substance -- what police say was $100 worth of heroin. Weiland was released on his own recognizance after pleading "not guilty" at an arraignment Monday night. The case will go before a judge on July 31.
According to the police report, Weiland was arrested at 3 p.m. Monday afternoon when he was observed walking inside the Wald Houses on 20 Avenue D. Police say Weiland didn't respond to questions about his reasons for being there and was consequently arrested for criminal trespassing at the housing development, a reputed drug-mart. It was then the officers discovered 10 decks of heroin on his person worth around $10 each, police said.
"Usually, in the vast majority of these cases, the [offender] is not given a jail sentence even if he's found guilty," said Weiland's attorney, Robert Malina. "I don't think someone accused of what Scott's accused of, which is a misdemeanor, and who is a first offender, and has never been convicted of anything in his life, [would serve time]."
Though Weiland's never been convicted of drug possession, he spent time in rehab two years ago stemming from a May 1995 arrest and charge of heroin and cocaine possession. After his release, the Stone Temple Pilots regrouped and resumed touring behind their Tiny Music ... Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop album. That tour was abruptly canceled in December 1996 when Weiland relapsed again and returned to rehab, his 14th stint over a three-year period. With regard to another go at rehabilitation, Malina says "sentencing someone to a drug program is not a component of sentences normally, unless the defendant agrees to it."
Two weeks ago, Weiland denied rumors he was once again dancing with Mr. Brownstone, tersely telling the Rolling Stone Network, "Oh, there's always rumors. I really don't think about [them] too much." He also said preliminary plans were underway to record again with STP. What this arrest will do to those plans is unknown.
However, in the past, fellow STP members Dean and Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz have shown little patience with regard to Weiland's recidivism, and have gone so far as to form a side-project, Talk Show, featuring themselves with Dave Coutts in place of Weiland. In April 1997, STP guitarist Dean DeLeo told Rolling Stone, "When you've got a person like this [Weiland] in your life, it's hard. You've been granted all the things in life you want to do, and when one person pulls the rug out from under you, it's the worst."
Weiland's arrest was made hours before Weiland was scheduled to perform hisfourth-to-last show on his first-ever solo tour at New York's Irving Plaza.That show, last night's scheduled performance at Philadelphia's Electric Factory,and upcoming dates in Los Angeles and San Diego were cancelled. A statementissued by Atlantic Records said, "Scott Weiland's case is currently in thecourts. It would be inappropriate for us to comment until the outcome of thecase is determined. Scott is an exceptionally gifted artist, and our thoughtsand prayers are with him during this extremely difficult time."