After NFL player Rodney “Lucky” Whitehead was released by the Dallas Cowboys on Monday, police released a statement saying the man charged with shoplifting in June was not the wide receiver, as originally indicated.
“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.,” the Prince William County (Virginia) Police Department said in a statement. “At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation.”
Despite the development, Whitehead, 25, remains cut from the team, which cited a pattern of behavior in justifying the move.
Whitehead was cut on Monday after it was reported by TMZ that he had been charged with failure to appear at a July 6 court hearing over larceny charges stemming from the June 22 arrest. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett made it clear at the time that the report was the first he or the Dallas Cowboys organization had heard of the matter. “I just found out as I came off the practice field this morning,” he told DallasCowboys.com after the story broke. “We’re gathering information on it and we’ll respond accordingly.”
Garrett also said at the time that the arrest and failure to appear in court might lead the team to release Whitehead. That’s what ultimately ended up happening.
Soon after he was cut, Whitehead’s agent David Rich issued a statement, reported by Adam Schefter, declaring that Whitehead was innocent, he was not in Virginia at the time of the crime and arrest, and that the situation was a case of mistaken identity.
The statement today by Prince William County Police fully supports Whitehead’s account, but he remains fired by the Cowboys organization, which is holding to it’s decision nonetheless. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Tuesday that the decision resulted from “a culmination of things over a period of time.”
“I just think we’ve given Lucky a lot of different chances along the way going back to last year,” Jones said, according to DallasCowboys.com. “I think we just decided it was time to go in a different direction.”
Whitehead is not going down quietly, however, telling the Dallas Morning News: “Let’s not sugarcoat anything. I was pretty much being called a liar.”
“As far as the whole situation went down, I was blindsided … I was left out to dry,” he continued. “I didn’t know about a warrant that came about in the first place. Clearly because I wasn’t the person arrested. The head person [in the Cowboys organization] I told, no one backed me up. No one had my back in the whole situation. I knew about it at what? 12:45. By 2:30 I’m released.”
Whitehead did say that his teammates — who are currently at Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, California — backed him up though. “They believed me,” he said, adding that he doesn’t know who accessed his social security number and other personal information.
Last week, Whitehead was involved in another strange scenario when he said his dog, Blitz, was kidnapped for a $20,000 ransom.
He later retrieved the pit bull, which had been stolen along with some shoes and bags, for an undisclosed amount of cash.
“Look who made it home safely!!!” Whitehead posted on Snapchat. “THANKS EVERYONE.”
— ESPN (@espn) July 25, 2017