Former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill, who has claimed to be the one to fire the shots which killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, was arrested early Friday morning for a driving under the influence (DUI) charge. The retired SEAL was found by the police in a parked car in his hometown of Montana.
According to the Butte-Silver Bow County Sheriff’s Department, O’Neill was outside of a convenience store at the Town Pump at Montana and Platinum streets in Butte, Montana, inside of his 2005 Nissan Sentra, fast asleep. Police approached the car after noticing that the vehicle’s back up lights were on and its engine running. The man was found at approximately 2:30 a.m.
When he was awakened as officers opened the door to his car, the 39-year-old is said to appear to be under the influence, seemingly confused and lethargic, according to Butte-Silver Bow County Undersheriff George Skuletich. He denied that he had been drinking and offered various stories about how exactly he wound up at his present location and where he had been prior, eventually stating that what he had taken was prescription medication to help him sleep.
Officers saw holes in his story and subjected him to an initial field sobriety test. After he failed the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus maneuver, O’Neill then refused to do any further field sobriety tests, including a breath test. Officers then brought the ex-Navy SEAL to the police station where he was made to take the other sobriety tests, which he also failed. He adamantly refused the test to determine his blood alcohol level, however, and at this point the officers arrested him with the charge of driving under the influence (DUI), which is a misdemeanor offence, according to the coverage of the arrest done by the Associated Press. The sheriff stated that O’Neill did not possess the presence of mind to operate a motor vehicle safely.
The Dallas-issued driver’s license that the SEAL had was taken from him by the police and he was issued a temporary permit. Records from the jail show that Rob O’Neill was released at 4:26 a.m. after posting the required bond of $685. The DUI charge is the first thing that O’Neill has been arrested for.
Back in a 2014 interview with the Washington Post, the Navy SEAL stated that he was the one who fired the shots which killed Osama Bin Laden. After six years of service, O’Neill left the SEALS and is now a motivational speaker and military consultant for a variety of daytime and primetime programs. During his service he has received over 52 military decorations, which includes two Silver Stars, two Navy/Marine Corps Commendations with Valor, three Presidential Unit citations, four Bronze Stars with Valor, and a Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor.
The Daily Mail wrote that one of the reasons why the man praised as a hero for killing Osama Bin Laden left the Navy SEAL is because he was deeply affected by the action of looking a man in the eye before killing him. He stated that the only reason he decided to make his role in the death public was a surety that it would have eventually been leaked secretly and made him an unknowing target.
“I’m still trying to figure out if it’s the best thing I ever did, or the worst thing I ever did.”
Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff Ed Lester released a statement on Friday explaining that while admired, O’Neill would be treated as any other citizen and him being arrested still stands.
“I have great respect for Rob O’Neill and what he has done for our country. That being said, this incident was handled the same way as any other DUI investigation. Mr. O’Neill has the same presumption of innocence as any other citizen. We will let the county attorney and the court proceed from this point.”
O’Neill’s 40th birthday is upcoming and he has a party planned for Saturday at The Depot on South Arizona Street. The event is open to the public.
[Photo Courtesy of Butte-Silver Bow County Sheriff’s Office]