Former England and Manchester United captain, Wayne Rooney, was arrested on 16 December at Dulles International Airport in Washington, Virginia.
Rooney, who was returning from a one-day promotional trip to Saudi Arabia, was charged with a ‘class 4’ misdemeanor – public intoxication and swearing in Loudoun County – which carries a fine up to $250.
Spokesman for Wayne Rooney says sleeping pills led to arrest at airport
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 7, 2019
The DC United star, however, only had to pay a $25 fine and $91 costs on 4th January, as intimated by documents from Loudoun General District Court.
The player’s spokesperson insists the whole unfortunate incident was a result of feeling disoriented after taking a “prescribed amount of sleeping tablets” on his return flight while drinking.
In an official statement, Rooney’s spokesperson said: “During the flight, Wayne took a prescribed amount of sleeping tablets mixed with some alcohol consumption and consequently was disoriented on arrival,” as reported by BBC.
“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.”
Full story on Wayne Rooney's arrest which occurred in Loudoun County, Virginia: https://t.co/c5T0aWS8eb
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 6, 2019
A spokesman for Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office described the incident, saying: “He was booked into the Loudoun County Adult Detention Centre on December 16, 2018, on a charge of public intoxication stemming from an arrest by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police (MWAA).”
“He was later released on a personal recognizance bond.”
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police clarified that although Rooney did trigger a door alarm, he did not, in any way, breach airport security.
“Mr. Rooney was charged with public intoxication and transported to Loudoun County Detention Centre to be held until sober,” a statement added, as reported by Express.
In a statement issued to US media, Rooney’s current employers, DC United, revealed that they were aware of the reports of the 33-year-old’s arrest.
The statement read: “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.”
At hindsight, this minor case of a misdemeanor doesn’t come off as something too damaging. But in a country where “a clean-cut image” is valued more than anything, Rooney’s latest slip-up could end up costing him millions.
🚔 Wayne Rooney was arrested and fined for public swearing and intoxication in Maryland last month
Good to see he is still flying the flag for England whilst out in the US 😂 pic.twitter.com/GWC5DJTYrx
— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) January 6, 2019
US brand executive Thomas Rogers told the Mirror: “Nowhere in the world is a clean-cut image more important to a sports star than in America.”
“The merest hint that a brand could be brought into disrepute is enough to see multi-million-dollar deals ended. Rooney will have to expiate himself if big names are to want to put their brands and their buck behind him.”
The forward, who signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with DC United in June, led his side to the playoffs in his debut season. They, however, succumbed to a heartbreaking first-round defeat, with the former Manchester United star missing his spot-kick in a penalty shootout against Columbus Crew.