Snowboarder Shaun White arrested in hotel fracas

Monday, September 17, 2012 - 7:49pm

Olympic snowboarding medalist Shaun White has been charged with vandalism and public intoxication after pulling a fire alarm at a hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, police said Monday.

White was arrested after trying to flee the hotel in a cab and kicking a bystander who tried to stop him, according to a statement from the Nashville Metro Police Department. The 26-year-old "appeared to be extremely intoxicated and smelled strongly of alcohol," and a hotel employee accused him of smashing a phone, police said.

The U.S. snowboarder, once nicknamed "The Flying Tomato" for his distinctive red hair, was released on his own recognizance Monday evening, Davidson County sheriff's spokeswoman Melinda McDowell said.

The bystander chased White, who fell backward and hit his head on a fence, resulting in a trip to the hospital, police said. The bystander didn't press charges, but White was arrested on the other misdemeanor charges after refusing to sign a citation, police said.

White has been a professional snowboarder and skateboarder since his early teens, taking gold medals in the halfpipe competition at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics. His representatives did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

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