One day after the Dallas Cowboys finally got fed up with repeated bad behavior and got tough on crime, it proved to indeed be the case of bad behavior.
Receiver Lucky Whitehead, cut by the Cowboys after reports surfaced that he was arrested for petty theft and had a warrant out for failure to appear, was exonerated by police in Virginia.
The charges have been dropped and the warrant has been rescinded as it was indeed a case of mistaken identity, as Whitehead claimed all along.
Whitehead’s agent Dave Rich is glad his client’s name has been cleared, but he believed his client all along.
Never miss a local story.
“Lucky Whitehead is fast, but he is not fast enough to be in two states at the same time,” Rich said.
Rich also wonders who the Cowboys talked to as they conducted their own investigation and decided Whitehead was not telling the truth, ultimately resulting in his release.
The Cowboys, however, have no regrets about their decision to release Whitehead.
“Yesterday we made a decision that we deemed to be in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We’re standing by that decision and we’re going to move on.”
Garrett repeated that line regarding the team’s plans to move on.
Asked if the false arrest and mistaken identity should make a difference, Garrett didn’t budge, while intimating that the decision was final because of culmulative acts.
“We know a lot of things about our players that you guys don’t know,” Garrett said. “Guys — we made a decision yesterday that we thought was in the best interest of our team. In evaluating the particular situation and the context of that situation, we felt like we made a decision in regards to Lucky that was right for our team. We stand by that decision.”
Garrett added: “I think the best thing for Lucky is to have a clean slate and he’ll have a new opportunity somewhere else. That’s good for him and, again, it’s in the best interst of our football team.”
Defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford showed some support and sympathy for Whitehead that Garrett didn’t offer.
“I just hope his name doesn't get tarnished about something that the police made a mistake about,” Crawford said. “I'm not putting anything on this team. I'm putting it on...whoever made this false report. Obviously Lucky has a right to be mad right now. I just hope he can find a team that he can get on and ball out.”
Whitehead’s agent has already been contacted by four teams but he must first clear waivers.
Police in Virginia confirmed Tuesday that Whitehead was not the man they cited for shoplifting at a convenience store on June 22. The man did not have identification at the time of his arrest and gave them Whitehead’s name, birth date and social security number.
The officers then confirmed the identity through the department’s database.
The big problem, according to Rich, is that Whitehead has a Texas driver’s license.
Here is the statement from Virginia police:
"Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named ‘Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.,’ the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys. The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr. Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database. The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody. Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead's identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation. The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident. Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney's Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation. The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family."
The apology is too late for Whitehead and his employment with the Cowboys. But it does clear his name as he tries to land a job with another team.