SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A prominent Oklahoma doctor pleaded no contest Wednesday to a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from a confrontation last year with a taxi driver from Afghanistan.
Dr. Stanley Grogg, president of the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians, was placed on three years probation and ordered to pay $1,000 to the Anti-Defamation League. Grogg entered his plea the day his trial was scheduled to start.
Grogg, 57, of Tulsa was in San Diego for a convention Oct. 20 when he stepped into a cab driven by Tamim Keshawarz.
Grogg lunged at the driver, put both hand around Keshawarz's neck and took several wild swings at him, said Lea Fields, deputy city attorney. Keshawarz wasn't injured, she said.
Grogg was angry over what he considered an inappropriate comment by the driver about the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to Thomas Warwick, the doctor's lawyer. The victim denied making an anti-American comments, Fields said.
Grogg was initially charged with a hate crime and misdemeanor battery, but those charges were later dropped.
``Our investigation concluded essentially that alcohol played a major role in the defendant's outrageous behavior,'' Fields said.