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Dennis Rodman facing criminal charges in July hit-and-run, prosecutors say

Dennis Rodman
NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman has been charged with causing a hit-and-run crash and lying to police in Orange County earlier this year.
(Los Angeles Times)

Former NBA superstar Dennis Rodman was charged with causing a hit-and-run crash, lying to police and driving without a valid license after police say he drove the wrong way down the 5 Freeway in Santa Ana earlier this year, prosecutors said.

Rodman, who rose to prominence for both his bad-boy image and his role on several of Michael Jordan’s championship Chicago Bulls teams in the 1990s, is due in court early next year.

He was charged with four misdemeanors: causing a hit-and-run accident with property damage, driving across a highway divider, giving false information to police and driving without a valid license, according to a news release from the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Rodman, 55, could face up to two years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said. He will be arraigned in January.

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In July, police say Rodman was driving his Range Rover the wrong way in a southbound carpool lane on the 5 Freeway near Santa Ana. He nearly collided with a sedan, forcing the other driver to crash into a concrete barrier, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Rodman stopped briefly but did not exchange information with the other driver and left before CHP officers arrived, police said. The other driver was not seriously injured, but the CHP called on Orange County prosecutors to file charges against the basketball star earlier this year.

Known for his rebounding acumen and defensive skills on the court, Rodman played 14 seasons in the NBA for the Pistons, Bulls, Spurs, Lakers and Mavericks.

Nicknamed “The Worm,” Rodman also gained fame for his controversial image, rainbow hair coloring and high-profile affair with Madonna. In recent years, he has also gained notoriety for his bizarre friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Rodman’s attorrney, Paul S. Meyer, said in a statement that the incident occurred on an exit ramp that was not outfitted with proper road signs.

“Mr. Rodman turned and corrected the driving error, stopped and spoke with the people in the other car,” he said. “Their cars never touched. We look forward to a discussion of all of the facts.”

james.queally@latimes.com

 

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for crime and police news in California.

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UPDATES:

3:15 p.m.: This story was updated with comment from Rodman’s attorney.

This story first published at 2:55 p.m.


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