Country singer Randy Travis arrested, accused of DWI
(CNN) — Country music star Randy Travis, who pleaded no contest to public intoxication following the Super Bowl in February, was arrested again Tuesday after being found naked, smelling apparently of alcohol and lying on a remote stretch of roadway in northern Texas just before midnight, authorities said.
He was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and felony retaliation, after allegedly threatening to fatally shoot highway patrol troopers who responded to a concerned caller who notified authorities of “a man lying in the roadway” Tuesday. The DWI offense is a misdemeanor, authorities said.
While in custody, Travis allegedly threatened “to shoot and kill the troopers working the case,” Sgt. Rickey Wheeler of the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.
Travis, 53, allegedly refused to take a blood and breath test, and was later forced to submit to a judge’s order for a blood specimen taken at a nearby hospital, Wheeler said.
Travis was driving his black 1998 Pontiac Trans Am when the vehicle drove off the north side of a two-lane highway just west of Tioga, where he resides, and struck several barricades in a construction zone, said Texas Highway Patrol Trooper Mark Tackett.
Travis was the only occupant in the one-vehicle crash, authorities said.
Travis was found naked, Tackett said.
When Travis was brought to Grayson County jail at 3 a.m., after the hospital visit, he still didn’t have clothes, Wheeler said.
“He was given a paper suit, which is a jail uniform made out of paper,” Wheeler told CNN.
Travis was released from Grayson County jail after an acquaintance posted his $21,500 bail in cash at 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, Wheeler said.
It’s not clear whether Travis was injured in the accident, though his mug shot revealed a bruised right eye and several abrasions on his face.
Neither Travis nor his representative could be reached for comment Wednesday.
Travis, who has sold more than 20 million records, has won seven Grammy Awards, 10 Academy of Country Music statuettes, 10 American Music Awards, seven Music City News awards, five Country Music Association honors and eight Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association, according to his website.
Travis has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1986, his website said.
Travis is now commemorating 25 years of making music with an Anniversary Celebration CD, which also features Country Music Hall of Fame members Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson; also on the CD are Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw and Don Henley, among other stars, his website said.
In February, Travis was arrested for public intoxication while sitting in his car in front of a church in Sanger, Texas.
On June 25, Travis’ attorney entered a no-contest plea on the singer’s behalf before Sanger Municipal Court Judge Kenneth Hartless, court administrator Christy Punches told CNN. Travis didn’t appear in court, she added.
Travis paid a $264 fine and was placed on a 90-day deferred, or probationary, status, Punches said. “It’s like a 90-day probation,” she said.
The 90-day probation period expires September 23, when the ticket violation will be erased from his record as long as Travis doesn’t commit another offense in Denton County, Punches said.
Travis’ alleged offense this week won’t impact his probation in Sanger because the incident occurred in another county in Texas, Punches said.
Public intoxication, a class C violation of the municipal code, is an offense typically disposed of by the Sanger courts with a fine and a 90-day probation, Punches said.
“It’s just a fine-only offense,” Punches said.
In February, Sanger police found a vehicle parked in front of a Baptist church in the very early morning hours and, upon investigation, discovered Travis in the car with an open bottle of wine, the Denton County Sheriff’s Office told CNN.
Police said the singer smelled of alcohol, the sheriff’s office said.
Travis was arrested and taken to the Denton County jail, sheriff’s spokeman Tom Reedy told CNN on Wednesday.
Travis was given a citation and held because of intoxication until 7:44 a.m., at which time he was released, Reedy told CNN.
“When somebody is intoxicated, you just don’t let them go,” Reedy said. “They have to come in and be here for so many hours. It was a citation. It wasn’t a DWI. It was public intoxication.”
Travis listed his city of residence as Tioga, Texas, Reedy said.
“I apologize for what resulted following an evening of celebrating the Super Bowl,” Travis told CNN in a statement after the February arrest. “I’m committed to being responsible and accountable, and apologize for my actions.”
CNN’s Alison Barbiero and Carma Hassan contributed to this report.
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