Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa blew out a tire on the grey Lexus he was driving in a collision with a curb that left the vehicle smoking when he was arrested on misdemeanor DUI charges in February, according to an affidavit filed by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
La Russa was charged in late October by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office after tests taken the night of his arrest showed his blood alcohol concentration was .095 — above the legal limit of .08. He has pleaded not guilty.
News of La Russa’s arrest broke Monday. And more details emerged on Tuesday.
An officer found La Russa standing next to his SUV, asked him what happened and then requested identification. The officer said La Russa reached into his right back pocket, pulled out a large amount of cash and shuffled through his credit cards and California driver’s license multiple times, according to the affidavit.
The officer reported he could smell alcohol on La Russa, who had been at dinner with friends from the Los Angeles Angels, and took him into custody after a field sobriety test. The affidavit said La Russa initially refused to provide a sample of his blood, urine or other bodily substance because he didn’t trust the tests. Officers obtained two tubes of blood from him after a warrant was issued.
According to ESPN, which obtained a more detailed incident report, La Russa appeared incoherent at times and kept mentioning he is a Hall of Famer while expressing his mistrust of blood alcohol tests. It said a breath test taken at the scene showed a blood alcohol content of .090. And as he was placed into the back of a cruiser, La Russa flashed a ring and told an officer “I’m a Hall of Famer baseball person.”
White Sox spokesman Scott Reifert said Monday the team was aware of the arrest when the 76-year-old La Russa was hired late last month. The team had no further comment on Tuesday.