William Hilton Paul, the 19-year-old son of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and the grandson of former presidential candidate Ron Paul, was arrested at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina on Saturday on drinking-related offenses.
Law enforcement officials from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office said that Paul was arrested after disembarking from a morning flight from Kentucky to North Carolina, but did not confirm whether or not he had been drinking on the flight. “He was possibly served alcohol on the flight,” Police Lt. Blake Hollar told the Charlotte Observer.
Paul was charged with disorderly conduct, being intoxicated and disruptive in public, and consuming beer and wine while underage, all of which are misdemeanor offenses.
Paul, who kept a relatively low profile during his father’s senatorial campaign, was arrested soon after his plane landed at about 10:49 a.m. According to police records, he was booked into the county jail at about 8:45 p.m. and released on $750 bond at around 11:15 p.m.
Sen. Paul was elected in 2010 on the support of the Tea Party movement, and in recent months has become a possible presidential contender for 2016. Paul is a new member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and, as of last week, was scheduled to travel to Israel for the first time on Sunday night for a series of meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, reported the Jerusalem Post.
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The publication reported that the trip was adding to speculation that the senator, who is an advocate of cuts to foreign aid and has been criticized by some as “holding anti-Israel positions”, would pursue the GOP nomination in 2016.
Although Sen. Paul did not specifically address his son’s arrest, his senior communications director, Moira Bagley, released a statement on Sunday afternoon saying, "Sen. Paul is a national public figure and subject to scrutiny in the public arena, however, as many parents with teenagers would understand, his family should be afforded the privacy and respect they deserve in a situation such as this.”
Paul is scheduled to appear in court at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.