Wayne Rooney spokesman says sleeping pills led to arrest at airport

CREDIT: Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office
Image: Wayne Rooney after his arrest (Pic courtesy of Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office)

Wayne Rooney became "disorientated" after taking prescribed sleeping tablets he took on a flight while drinking alcohol, according to his spokesman.

Rooney was arrested following a 'public intoxication incident' at Dulles Airport on December 16, it has emerged.

The DC United striker was fined $25 and had to pay $91 costs for the misdemeanour after being arrested by Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority, based near the club's stadium.

The fine was paid on Friday and a court hearing due to take place on January 24 has been waived.

But a representative of the former Manchester United and Everton forward has explained the situation leading to his arrest.

rooney dc
Image: Rooney scored 12 goals in 20 games for DC United last season

"Wayne Rooney was arrested and detained at Dulles airport following a long flight from Saudi Arabia after a one-day promotional business trip," read the statement.

"During the flight Wayne took a prescribed amount of sleeping tablets mixed with some alcohol consumption and consequently was disorientated on arrival.

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"He was approached by police who arrested him on a minor misdemeanour charge.

"He received a statutory automatic fine and was released shortly afterwards at the airport. The matter is now at an end.

"Wayne would like to put on record his appreciation for the manner he was treated by all involved. No further comment will be made."

A spokesman for Loudoun County Sheriff's Office earlier stated: "He [Rooney] was booked into the Loudoun County Adult Detention Centre on December 16 2018, on a charge of public intoxication stemming from an arrest by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police.

"He was later released on a personal recognisance bond."

Rooney enjoyed an impressive first season in the MLS with DC United after joining from Everton on a free transfer in June 2018.

The 33-year-old scored 12 goals in 20 games for the club and returned to international duty for a one-off game with England, as Gareth Southgate's side beat USA 3-0 in a friendly at Wembley in November.

The new MLS season is due to start in early March, with DC United's opening game of the campaign coming against 2018 champions Atlanta United.

Rooney, in September 2017, admitted drink-driving on a night out when he was caught driving a woman's Volkswagen Beetle when nearly three times the legal limit.

He was banned from driving for two years and ordered to carry out unpaid work in the community.

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