Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has been charged with hit-and-run after he allegedly drove on the wrong side of a California freeway, causing another vehicle to crash, before he drove off, authorities said.
The Orange County District Attorney’s office filed misdemeanor charges against Rodman, 55, on Monday for an incident that occurred on Interstate 5 in Santa Ana at about 12:30 a.m. on July 20.
Officials allege that the two-time NBA all-star had traveled north in a southbound carpool lane, forcing a sedan to swerve into a dividing wall to avoid a collision.
California Highway Patrol officers responded to the scene after the victim called 911, prosecutors said.
Rodman allegedly did not exchange information with the other driver and fled the scene before police arrived, according to the district attorney’s office.
After he was identified as the alleged driver, Rodman allegedly gave verbal false accounts to investigating officers, authorities said.
Rodman was charged with hit-and-run with property damage, driving a motor vehicle across a dividing section, giving false information to a police officer and driving a motor vehicle without a valid license, all misdemeanors.
“We agree that if anything, this is a misdemeanor traffic matter, and certainly not a felony,” Darren Prince, a representative for Rodman, told CNN Wire. “We appreciate the district attorney’s evaluation and know that it should resolve successfully when all facts are considered.”
Another Rodman attorney, Paul Meyer, told the Associated Press that the incident occurred on a poorly signed exit ramp, and that his client corrected the driving error without the cars touching.
Meyer added that Rodman had stopped and spoke to the people in the other car.
Rodman, who was known during his playing days as "the worm" and "Dennis the Menace," is scheduled to be arraigned January 20. If convicted, he could face up to two years in jail.
In December 1999, Rodman was arrested for drunken driving and driving without a valid license.
He was made to attend an alcohol program and pay fines after he pleaded guilty to both charges.