Former NBA superstar Dennis Rodman, know as much for his antics off the court as on, is facing hit-and-run charges stemming from a July accident in Santa Ana, California.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office alleged Monday the former Chicago Bull lied to police, drove without a valid license and drove the wrong way down the 5 Freeway. He also is charged with property damage and driving across a highway divider.
Rodman, 55, could be jailed for two years if convicted of the charges, all misdemeanors. Arraignment was scheduled for Jan. 20, KNBC, Los Angeles, reported.
Rodman allegedly drove the wrong way in the southbound carpool lane July 20 and nearly hit a black BMW with his Land Rover, forcing the vehicle into a concrete divider, the California Highway Patrol said. KNX, Los Angeles, said the BMW’s driver recognized Rodman, who stopped briefly but didn’t exchange information with the other driver and left the scene before officers arrived.
No one was seriously injured although a passenger in the BMW complained of pain, KCAL, Los Angeles, reported.
Rodman attorney Paul S. Meyer blamed the incident on a poorly marked exit ramp.
“Mr. Rodman turned and corrected the driving error, stopped and spoke with the people in the other car,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “Their cars never touched. We look forward to a discussion of all of the facts.”
Rodman, known as “The Worm” during his 14-season NBA career, gained fame for his bad boy image, myriad tattoos and rainbow hair coloring in addition to his rebounding prowess. He played for the Bulls, Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks over the course of his career.
Rodman had a high-profile affair with Madonna and was married to “Baywatch” babe Carmen Electra.
More recently, he developed a friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.