Battle of the Leaks: Police Report on Springsteen DWI Arrest Released After Efforts to Downplay Hidden Bust of the Boss: ‘Glassy Eyes’, ‘Visibly Swaying’, ‘Refused Preliminary Breath Test’
With his handling of his DWI arrest, Bruce Springsteen is acting like a typical politician involved in a scandal instead of the truth-seeking everyman of American rock and roll that he sells himself as to the public. The story of the Boss’ bust is playing out in media leaks by sources close to Springsteen rather then Springsteen himself setting the record straight. After several sympathetic leaks from sources close to the Springsteen, the police probable cause statement has been released to the media and reportedly states the 71-year-old Springsteen claimed to have had two shots of tequila within twenty minutes, had “glassy eyes”, was “visibly swaying back and forth”, “smelt strongly of alcohol”, failed several parts of a sobriety test and refused a preliminary breath test. Reports on the probable cause statement do not report any BAC level for Springsteen.
Jeep promotional photo by Rob DeMartin.
Springsteen was arrested by U.S. Park Police on November 14, 2020 for DWI, reckless driving and consuming alcohol in a closed area after he was seen drinking a shot of tequila while on his motorcycle at Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, New Jersey.
The arrest was kept secret by Springsteen and his manager Jon Landau. The Park Police says citations of the kind issued to Springsteen are not posted as public records, so police beat reporters would not have seen them on the police blotter.
However, while knowing he faced federal charges for drinking and driving, Springsteen and Landau worked out agreements for Springsteen to perform at the Inaugural ceremony for Joe Biden at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on January 20 and then to film a two minute ad for Jeep that aired during the Super Bowl on February 7. Jeep, which paid Springsteen an undisclosed sum, pulled the ad from YouTube and its other social media accounts after news of Springsteen’s DWI arrest broke Wednesday.
TMZ was first to report the news of Springsteen’s arrest.
The Boss’s hometown paper the Asbury Park Press reported a leak Wednesday night from Springsteen’s camp claiming that he blew a .02, well below New Jersey’s legal presumption of intoxication of .08.
“New Jersey rock icon Bruce Springsteen’s blood-alcohol content was 0.02 — just a quarter of New Jersey’s legal limit — when he was arrested on Sandy Hook in November and charged with driving while intoxicated, a source familiar with the case told the Asbury Park Press. The legal threshold indicating intoxication for driving purposes in New Jersey is .08, which calls into question why Springsteen was even charged with driving while intoxicated, the source said.”
The New York Post reported early Thursday morning, again from the Springsteen camp, that Bruce was busted after he took one shot of tequila with fans at the park.
“Bruce Springsteen was allegedly busted in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, when he pulled over to take pictures with fans — and then took a shot of tequila offered by one of them in full view of the cops, a music industry insider said. The “Born to Run” icon, 71, had been riding his motorcycle on the peninsula on Nov. 14 when he “was spotted by fans who asked him to pull over and take some pictures,” according to a source close to Springsteen. “Bruce stopped, took the pictures, then a fan offered him a shot of liquor, which he took, while sitting on his bike, which was stationary,” the source said.”
CNN on Thursday reported a Springsteen insider downplaying his arrest:
“Following news of Bruce Springsteen’s November arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence, a source close to the musician is sharing more information about the incident. “When this is all resolved, I think, people are gonna have some serious doubts about the seriousness of this, especially when the actual details of this are revealed, including the blood alcohol level,” the source told CNN.
Now comes the release of the probable cause police report to outlets including Vulture (excerpt):
“While on foot patrol, I observed a male (Bruce F. Springsteen) consume a shot of Patron tequila and then get on his motorcycle and start the engine. I contacted Springsteen and informed him alcohol is prohibited at Sandy Hook. The Patron bottle that the shot was poured out of was completely empty (750 ml),” the November 14 statement of probable cause stated.
The officer claimed they asked Springsteen if he was leaving. “He confirmed that he was going to drive out of the park. Springsteen claimed that he had two shots of tequila in the last 20 minutes,” the document stated. “Springsteen smelt strongly of alcohol coming off his person and had glassy eyes.”
The officer claims they had Springsteen perform “standardized field sobriety tests and observed four out of six clues on the [horizontal gaze] test.” The cop alleged that Springsteen was “visibly swaying back and forth while I observed his eyes.” The officer further claimed that they observed “five of eight clues on the walk and turn test.”
“Springsteen took 45 total steps during the walk and turn instead of the instructed 18,” the doc stated. “Springsteen refused to provide a sample on the preliminary breath test.”
“Springsteen refused to take a preliminary breath test (PBT), despite signs of intoxication namely after testing his gaze and walk and turn tests,” a park ranger named R. L. Hayes alleges in the document.
Additionally, the ranger claimed to have observed the musician “consume a shot of Patron tequila” before getting on his motorcycle to “start the engine.”
Hayes claims he informed Springsteen, a New Jersey native, that drinking on the park premises “is prohibited.”
“The Patron bottle that the shot was poured out of was completely empty (750ml),” the ranger also writes. “I asked Springsteen if he was leaving and he confirmed that he was going to drive out of the park.”
Hayes claimed Springsteen reeked of alcohol. “[He] smelt strongly of alcohol coming off his person and had glassy eyes,” the report states.
The ranger also said he “observed four out of six clues on the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.” The musician was “visibly swaying back and forth while I observed his eyes,” Hayes said. “I observed five out of eight clues on the walk and turn test. Springsteen took 45 total steps during the walk and turn instead of the instructed 19. [He] refused to provide a sample on the preliminary breath test.”
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