DC United's Wayne Rooney arrested at Dulles Airport

Brian Tinsman
January 06, 2019 - 10:28 pm

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports


Lost in the bustle of the holidays was news that soccer legend and D.C. United star Wayne Rooney was arrested at Dulles International Airport for "public intoxication and swearing."

According to Loudoun County court records, the incident occurred on December 16 after Rooney returned from a one-day trip to Saudi Arabia.

When news first broke on this story Sunday, it was at first unclear if he was detained for one, the other or both, but his spokesman explained to the BBC how it was intoxication from mixing sleeping pills with alcohol.

"During the flight, Wayne took a prescribed amount of sleeping tablets mixed with some alcohol consumption and consequently was disorientated on arrival.

"He was approached by police who arrested him on a minor misdemeanor charge.

"He received a statutory automatic fine and was released shortly afterward at the airport. The matter is now at an end.

"Wayne would like to put on record his appreciation for the manner he was treated by all involved."

The news is making international headlines because of Rooney's legacy in the game, but also because he lost his license and was banned from driving for two years in September 2017 after admitting to drunken driving in Cheshire. This is clearly a very different situation.

Rooney was charged with a Class 4 misdemeanor in this case, which carries a maximum $250 fine. Rooney was fined all of $25 and paid the $91 fees on January 4, which helped propel this into the news. 

D.C. United, which is constructing a new practice facility and headquarters just miles away from Dulles on the outskirts of Leesburg, was clearly not entertained by the interest surrounding the story.

They put out the following statement: "We are aware of news reports indicating that Wayne Rooney was arrested in December. We understand the media's interest in this matter but we believe this is a private matter for Wayne that DC United will handle internally. We have no further comment on this situation."


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