PHOENIX – New details about White Sox manager Tony La Russa’s second DUI charge are coming to light.
According to an Arizona Department of Public Safety incident report obtained by WGN TV, La Russa tried to inform arresting officer Ivory Crawford of his Hall of Fame status before being put in the back of Crawford’s squad car.
“‘Do you see my ring?’ I asked La Russa what he was talking about? La Russa stated, ‘I’m a hall of famer baseball person.’ While placing him in the rear of my patrol vehicle, La Russa stated, ‘I’m legit. I’m a hall of famer brother. Your (SIC) trying to embarrass me.’ I advised La Russa that I will not embarrass him, and he would be treated with utmost respect.”
Crawford also reported La Russa was initially hesitant to take a portable breath test.
“While explaining the use of the PBT La Russa stated, ‘I don’t trust it.’ La Russa asked, ‘What makes you think I don’t have control of my facilities?'”
La Russa agreed to take the test after a second request was made.
“If it gets me out of here.”
The test revealed a breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) of .090.
Upon being read his Miranda rights, La Russa told officer Crawford:
“‘I don’t know my rights because you told me once I blow into that thing we’d be done.'” I asked LA Russa if he had any drinks again? La Russa stated, “‘I had one glass of wine while at dinner with my friends.'”
According to the Maricopa County Justice Courts website, the arrest occurred in February, but the case was filed on October 28, one day before La Russa’s hiring was announced by the White Sox.
White Sox spokesman Scott Reifert said the team was aware of the arrest when the 76-year-old La Russa was hired.
“Because this is an active case, we cannot comment further at this time,” Reifert said Monday night in an email.
La Russa pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Florida in 2007 after police found him asleep inside his running sport utility vehicle at a stop light and smelling of alcohol.
“I accept full responsibility for my conduct, and assure everyone that I have learned a very valuable lesson and that this will never occur again,” La Russa said then.
La Russa was hired by the Sox in a surprise move after Rick Renteria was let go in what the team insisted was a mutual decision. La Russa, who is friends with team owner Jerry Reinsdorf, started his managing career on the South Side during the 1979 season.
The Hall of Famer hasn’t managed a big league club since 2011, when he led St. Louis past Texas in the World Series. He also won championships with Oakland in 1989 and the Cardinals in 2006.