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Report: Tony La Russa Told Arresting Officer, “I’m A Hall-Of-Famer Baseball Person”

Tony LaRussa
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

ESPN broke the story Monday night that new Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor driving under the influence in the Phoenix area after law enforcement there said the grey Lexus RX350 driven by the famous baseball manager crashed into a curb near the airport.

The crash happened, according to Maricopa County Justice Court records, on Feb. 24, about a half-hour before midnight. Most of the documents filed in the justice court are pretty boilerplate, but here’s the narrative from the questionnaire, where Arizona Department of Public Safety state trooper Ivory Crawford describes the scene:

ESPN’s Jeff Passan also obtained an incident report from the Arizona Department of Public Safety that states that La Russa flashed a championship ring at the officer and said, “I’m a Hall-of-Famer baseball person.” Later, according to the report, La Russa said, “I’m legit. I’m a Hall-of-Famer, brother. You’re trying to embarrass me.”

Passan added that the state trooper’s incident report noted that La Russa kept talking to an AAA representative on the phone while being asked to provide identification and said “I don’t trust” a portable breath test, which he later agreed to take “if it gets me out of here.” According to the court records, a blood test later obtained with a warrant allegedly showed a BAC of .095.

When La Russa was arrested and read his Miranda rights, according to Passan’s report, he said, “I don’t know my rights because you told me once I blow into that thing we’d be done.”

The rest of the court documents are pretty basic, going over the charges and saying that La Russa has entered a plea of not guilty. One thing that stands out is the arrest happened in the early hours of Feb. 25, but LaRussa wasn’t charged in court until Oct. 28, a day before he was announced as the new White Sox manager. A spokesperson for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office told ESPN that was due to the charges initially being filed in the wrong jurisdiction.

The full court documents can be found here.