Dennis Rodman was charged Monday with four misdemeanors, including hit-and-run, following a July incident in which authorities said he drove the wrong way down a freeway near Santa Ana, Calif. The former NBA star could face a maximum of two years in an Orange County jail if convicted.
The California Highway Patrol had recommended felony charges shortly after the incident occurred. Rodman was said to have been driving north in the southbound HOV lane of Interstate 5 at around 12:30 a.m., July 20, forcing a driver of a BMW to swerve into the median wall to avoid colliding with the Rodman’s Range Rover. The CHP said that after causing the crash, Rodman returned to the scene and had a brief conversation with the other driver, then he left before police could arrive and without exchanging information (via KABC).
The Orange County district attorney’s office announced Monday that it was charging the 55-year-old member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with one count each of: causing a hit-and-run with property damage; driving a motor vehicle across a highway divider; giving false information to a police officer; and driving without a valid license. Rodman is set to be arraigned in January.
A representative for Rodman told TMZ Sports, “We agree that if anything, this is a misdemeanor traffic matter, and certainly not a felony. We appreciate the district attorney evaluation and know that it should resolve successfully when all facts are considered.” The website had reported that Rodman had been at a karaoke bar in the hours before the crash, although it was unclear if he had been drinking.
Rodman won five NBA titles during a 14-year NBA career spent with the Pistons (who subsequently retired his No. 10 jersey), Spurs, Bulls, Lakers and Mavericks. He was twice named NBA defensive player of the year and won seven rebounding titles.