Coco Crisp, known for a name that reminds fans of breakfast cereal and his productive major league baseball career, was arrested for DUI in Scottsdale, Arizona, during Spring Training last week.
According to MLB.com, Crisp was allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol in the Spring Training home of his team, the Oakland Athletics, when police pulled him over on suspicion of DUI just after 2 a.m.
Crisp, who was driving his Rolls Royce Phantom automobile, was stopped for an inability to stay in his lane, as well as for no proof of insurance and expired registration.
Police also conducted field sobriety tests after the stop, and Crisp was arrested for drunk driving.
Arizona is a tough state in terms of DUI laws, with first-time offender penalties that include a ten-day jail sentence and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. Crisp was learning about these tough laws as he went along, though he didn’t comment about the strictness of the state’s stance on DUI issues.
“I can’t really go into the details right now,” he told MLB.com. “I guess those will come out later.”
Former NBA star Charles Barkley was one high-profile celebrity who felt the brunt of these laws after he was charged with DUI in Scottsdale several years ago. He spent three days in jail in a tent city set up for drunk drivers, and he had to complete twelve hours of work release.
Crisp apologized publicly to his fans, teammates, friends and family, saying that he was mainly embarrassed. “I’m sorry and that sorry is genuine. A lot of people look up to me and obviously this was not the right decision.”
The Oakland Athletics baseball club said that they would take the legal matter seriously, and that they were monitoring the situation. The team’s manager had already spoken to Crisp.
Of the A’s organization, Crisp told MLB.com, “they just gave me some advice. It was just like, ‘We’ll get through this.’ It’s obviously a big deal. My parents said they’re here for me if I need anything. That was nice.”
Crisp was foremost reticent about having become a distraction to his teammates as they prepare for the upcoming baseball season. “The sooner this can get out of the clubhouse the better,” he said. “I’ll deal with this myself. I don’t want to be a distraction for any of the other players. I just want to answer questions.”
This is Crisp’s first public legal issue in his nine years as a professional baseball player.