Shaun White Arrested
The Flying Tomato has been grounded, and this mugshot is photographic evidence. Two-time Olympic gold medalist and undisputed snowboard champion of the world Shaun White was arrested in Nashville over the weekend, and charged with public intoxication and vandalism for (allegedly) destroying a hotel phone in a drunken rage.
Nashville police responded to the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel around 2am Sunday after an apparently intoxicated man identified as the 26-year-old snowboarder pulled a fire alarm, forcing guests to evacuate. A hotel employee also reported seeing White destroy a hotel phone.
A guest, probably tired and more than a little annoyed by White's surprise wake-up call, tried to prevent him from leaving the scene in a cab by telling the driver he was calling police. A Nashville newspaper reported that White kicked the man and tried fleeing on foot. The guest chased after White, until the drunk snowboarder abruptly turned around, ran into him and—Looney Tunes-style—fell backwards, hitting his head on a fence (where that shiner allegedly came from). That gave police plenty of time to catch up with him, and their report shows that he appeared "extremely intoxicated and smelled strongly of alcohol."
White was sent to a local hospital for treatment and was arrested upon release after police said he refused to sign two misdemeanor warrants. "He basically put himself in jail by not signing that," a police source told ESPN.com. White is free on his own recognizance, and is due in court Oct. 10.
This is, in the grand scheme, a minor setback for snowboarding's superhero, who rakes in millions annually in prize money and endorsement fees. Still, it's never a good thing when a top-tier athlete makes an ass of himself and winds up in the slammer under totally preventable circumstances. White's last pre-arrest tweet, sent Sunday morning, read: "U smell what the shaun is coooooookin!!!!??" Yes, Shaun, we do. And it's a real stinker.