One day after the Dallas Cowboys cut Lucky Whitehead following his reported arrest for shoplifting, it turns out that the wide receiver was not shoplifting and the police never arrested him.
TMZ Sports reported that authorities in Woodbridge, Virginia, arrested a man last month for allegedly stealing items from a convenience store. Police said the suspect was accused of leaving a Wawa without paying and picked up for shoplifting/petty larceny under $200. The man did not have identification on him but verbally identified himself using Whitehead’s name, date of birth and social security number. Law enforcement officials ran the information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles database and believed that the man was whom he said he was. The arrestee was released and given a court date of July 6 but failed to appear. This led to Monday’s glaring headlines that Whitehead skipped the hearing and a warrant for his arrest had been issued.
Whitehead and his agent, David Rich, immediately disputed the claims. Rich said that his client wasn’t even in Virginia when the arrest was made and pointed to flight records indicating as much. Officials then combed through the surveillance footage at the location and by Tuesday, the Prince William County Police Department confirmed that Whitehead was not the man they arrested and released a statement regarding this case of mistaken identity.
“At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identity was falsely provided to police during the investigation,” the statement read. “The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family.”
The impact this blunder had is that it cost Whitehead his job.
Following the surprising development, the Cowboys justified cutting him by blaming the move on a pattern of past behavior. The team will undoubtedly have to answer questions now about how they could cut Whitehead, but not discipline other players for their transgressions. After all Damien Wilson was arrested recently for aggravated assault, Nolan Caroll for DWI and Ezekiel Elliott’s name has been associated with a string of negative headlines this offseason, however, each of them remain on the roster.
The team has insisted that Whitehead was not some type of fall guy though and said they will not rescind his release because they have moved on.
Police are currently searching for the man they arrested who used Whitehead’s name.
[Featured Image by Ryan Kang/AP Photo]