Stephanopoulos Arrested After Vehicle Accident
White House senior adviser George Stephanopoulos was arrested Thursday night on charges of leaving the scene of a vehicle accident and driving with an expired license.
He allegedly crunched the bumper of a four-wheel-drive vehicle while trying to pull out of a parking space in Georgetown, District of Columbia police said.
A police officer was standing only a few feet away when the collision occurred just before 11 p.m. EDT, police and witnesses said.
Stephanopoulos, 34, was driving a red Honda CRX when he apparently got stuck between a black vehicle and the curb in front of The Saloun restaurant, said Al Afshar, the restaurant’s owner, who watched the incident from a few feet away. Stephanopoulos and a friend apparently had eaten dinner nearby.
Police tested Stephanopoulos for alcohol and said there was no probable cause to charge him with an alcohol-related offense. But they refused to release the test results.
Stephanopoulos’s attorney, who was at the police district headquarters, would not comment on the incident other than to say that he had spoken to Stephanopoulos, who was being held at the station on the two misdemeanor charges. “He’s fine,” said Stan Brand, the lawyer.
Police said he would be released on his own recognizance.
According to witnesses, Stephanopoulos had been unable to get the car out of the parallel parking space after several unsuccessful tugs on the wheel and twists of his tires and had twice bumped the vehicle in front of him.
“He tried to get out of the parking space, and he hit the car in front of him. Then he backed up and hit the bumper of the car again and broke his light,” Afshar said. “There was a police officer standing right there. He stepped over to Stephanopoulos’s car and said, ‘Sir, I hope I’m wrong, but you’re not leaving the accident scene, are you?’ ”
After Stephanopoulos popped mints into his mouth several times, the officer admonished him to spit them out, saying they might affect an alcohol test, according to Afshar.