During Tiger Woods’ enormously successful career, cameras often showed the golfer confidently striding the course, smashing records and winning events in front of adoring fans and massive television audiences.
But in police dashcam video released Wednesday, the world’s former No. 1 golfer provided a different image to an audience of police officers in the dead of the night. The video of Woods’ Memorial Day encounter with police provided more details on his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence.
In video from Florida’s Jupiter Police Department, gone is his confident strut on the golf course — instead replaced by a man struggling to walk and stand on one leg. It shows Woods stumbling through field sobriety tests, wobbling on the side of the road and at times confused about officers’ commands.
Woods was led away in handcuffs about 24 minutes into the video. When news of his arrest first surfaced, Woods said he made a mistake by misunderstanding the effects of the medications he was taking.
“I understand the severity of what I did, and I take full responsibility for my actions,” he said in a statement.
Another video of the initial traffic stop shows the view from an officer’s car as he pulls up to Woods’ car, which is almost halfway out of the right lane, sticking into a bike lane. The footage marks the latest twist in an incident that started early Monday, when police found the legendary golfer sleeping alone in his Mercedes Benz near his home in Jupiter, Florida. During the roadside stop, police administered a series of sobriety tests. Woods struggled to walk in a straight line, had a hard time following instructions and slurred his speech several times. He said he had not been drinking but admits to taking medication — the name of which is muted in the recording.
Tiger Woods Fast Facts
In one of the tests, the officer asked Woods to follow a red light with his eyes. The officer moves the light but stops and says, “You’re not even looking at the light.”
Woods tells the officer he is “following the light,” his words running together. He also has trouble following directions and reciting the alphabet. At one point, he starts to walk away, then stumbles back, saying, “What are we doing?”
He also appears to be unaware of his surroundings.
The officer asks him where he’s coming from and he appears to say he’s headed to Los Angeles’s Orange County, even though he’d previously said he was going to Jupiter.
Woods: No alcohol
Woods told officers he did not drink, but takes several prescription medications, according to a police report. He took a Breathalyzer test, registering 0.000 on it both times, and a urine test, records show.
One of the reports said Woods had to be awakened and that his speech was slow and slurred but that he was “cooperative.”
In a statement after his arrest Monday — before the video surfaced — Woods said alcohol was not involved, blaming his disorientation on “an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications.”
Woods, who has been rehabbing from back surgery, said he didn’t realize the mix of medications would affect him so strongly.
He was arrested about 3 a.m. and released a few hours later on his own recognizance with no bond, according to records. He was cited for DUI and improper parking, and will be arraigned in court on July 5.
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