NEW YORK – Soccer star Wayne Rooney was arrested last month on a public intoxication charge and taken to jail to sober up after he triggered a door alarm at a Washington-area airport, authorities said Sunday.
Rooney was arrested Dec. 16 by police at Dulles International Airport in Virginia after he caused the alarm to go off at an international arrivals gate, according to a statement from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Authorities said he didn’t breach airport security.
Rooney’s agent did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for the player was quoted by British media as saying he was “disorientated” after mixing sleeping pills with alcohol during a flight from Saudi Arabia.
Rooney, who plays for Major League Soccer’s D.C. United, had been traveling abroad in the days prior to his arrest, according to his social media posts.
The airport authority said he was charged with misdemeanor public intoxication and taken to a county jail in the Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital “to be held until sober.” The statement didn’t include further details on his arrest.
The Loudon County Sheriff’s Office said Rooney, 33, was later released on his own recognizance. A mugshot from his booking shows Rooney in what appeared to be an orange jail jumpsuit.
Court documents, which list Rooney as living in the suburb of Bethesda, Maryland, show he paid a $25 fine Friday.
Rooney burst into the consciousness of English soccer when he made his Premier League debut for Everton at age 16.
He joined Manchester United for $35 million in 2004 and stayed there for 13 seasons — winning five English titles, one Champions League, one FA Cup, three League Cups and becoming the club’s all-time leading scorer with 253 goals.
He earned 120 caps for England — a national record for an outfield player — and in 2015 he surpassed Manchester United great Bobby Charlton’s England goalscoring record, ending his international career with 53 goals for his country.
When he joined Washington-based D.C. United, he became the latest in a series of European stars to play for U.S.-based Major League Soccer late in their careers. That list includes former England captains David Beckham and Steven Gerrard.
Rooney helped D.C. United reach the playoffs last year.
The club said in a statement that it was aware of news reports of the arrest, but declined further comment.
“We understand the media’s interest in this matter but we believe this is a private matter for Wayne that D.C. United will handle internally,” the team said.