Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Plzeň's Duda a hit-and-run suspect

Radek Duda (left) playing against Eaton Pardubice on Sunday.
Photo: Milan Podpera, hcplzen.cz.
Radek Duda, a left winger for HC Plzeň 1929, seems to have gotten himself into some hot water with the law.

Several Czech media outlets, including iDNES.cz, are reporting that a car matching the description of Duda's black BMW was involved in an incident at a crosswalk in Karlovy Vary last Tuesday. After nearly striking a 63-year-old pedestrian with the car, the driver, who is said to also match Duda's description, allegedly got out of the car and began yelling at the man, before physically attacking him. When confronted by a crowd of people, the driver allegedly returned to his vehicle and drove away.

"Radek Duda is a supect," said a high-ranking policeman from Karlovy Vary, who didn't want to identify himself. The driver in this incident could face up to three years in prison, if convicted.

This isn't the first time that Duda's temper behind the wheel has caused legal trouble for him. In 2008, Duda was found guitly of assaulting another driver in České Budějovice. That incident hasted his departure from that club, and he had played in the First League for KLH Chomutov before being acquired by Plzeň in November.

Previously, while playing for Slavia Praha in 2006, Duda attacked and injured a teenaged fan in Vsetín who threw snowballs at the Slavia team bus. That was also Duda's last season with Slavia.

It's not known whether Duda will dress for Tuesday night's game at Slavia, nor how this will affect his future with the team. Certainly, however, this is an untimely incident, given the fact that he has scored 16 goals and 13 assists in 25 games since joining Plzeň. On Sunday, he scored the game-winning goal against Eaton Pardubice with less than 4 minutes to play in regulation time.

Duda, who, turned 32 on Friday, played in the Western Hockey League for the Regina Pats and Lethbridge Hurricanes between 1998 and 2000. In his season in Lethbridge, he recorded 42 goals and 64 assists for 106 points in 69 games. He also racked up 193 penalty minutes.

He was a seventh-round pick of the Calgary Flames in 1998, though he never played in the NHL or any North American pro league. Besides the Czech Republic, Duda has also played professionally in Austria, Russia, Sweden, Finland, and Switzerland.

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