NEW YORK – A CNN reporter was arrested Friday in Central Park with a small amount of methamphetamine in his pocket, but he avoided jail time by agreeing to undergo drug counseling and therapy.
Richard Quest, 46, was arrested around 3:40 a.m. on a count of possession of a controlled substance — a misdemeanor that usually refers to a personal use amount of a drug. He was also charged with loitering; the park officially closes at 1 a.m.
When police saw and detained Quest, he told them, "I've got some meth in my pocket," according to the complaint filed in court. The complaint said he had a plastic sandwich bag containing methamphetamine in a jacket pocket.
Quest, who is British, is a correspondent for CNN International and is known for his reports on business travel. He hosts "CNN Business Traveler" and "Quest."
At his arraignment in Manhattan's Criminal Court, Judge Anthony Ferrara told Quest that if he attends the counseling and therapy designated by prosecutors for the next six months, his case will dismissed.
The judge allowed Quest to leave court without posting bail. He warned that if Quest failed to comply with the counseling schedule, he could be back in court and on his way to jail.
Quest's lawyer, Alan M. Abramson, said his client "did not realize the park had a curfew. He was returning to his hotel with friends."
CNN had no immediate comment on Quest's arrest.