Snowboard champ Shaun White charged with intoxication, vandalism

NASHVILLE, Tennessee |
Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:54pm EDT

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) – Olympic gold medal snowboarder Shaun White has been charged with public intoxication and vandalism after allegedly pulling the fire alarm and causing the evacuation of a luxury hotel in Nashville, authorities said on Monday.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said the chain of events that led to White’s arrest began about 2 a.m. Sunday, when officers responded to a call from Lowes Vanderbilt Hotel that an intoxicated man had set off the fire alarm.

Police said a concerned bystander apparently kept White, 26, who won gold medals at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games, from fleeing in a cab. The citizen kept the cab from leaving the hotel and told the driver he was going to call police.

“When White overheard their conversation, he allegedly kicked the citizen and fled on foot,” according to the police. “The citizen reported that he chased White until White turned and ran into him, apparently causing White to fall backwards and strike his head against a fence.”

The citizen did not want to prosecute White for assault, according to police.

“Responding officers Sunday reported that White appeared to be extremely intoxicated and smelled strongly of alcohol,” according to the police.

They said White refused to sign misdemeanor citations so arrest warrants charging him with vandalism and public intoxication were issued Sunday morning.

White was taken to a hospital and treated for injuries after hitting the fence. He was released late Monday afternoon and remains free on his own recognizance, police said.

The upscale hotel caters to visiting celebrities, such as touring rock acts, as well as professional sports teams.

(Editing by Tim Gaynor and Bill Trott)

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