News

Elections

Police Report: Beto O’Rourke Tried to Flee Scene of Drunk-Driving Crash

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D,Texas) campaigns in Houston, Texas, November 11, 2017. (William Philpott/Reuters)

It has long been a matter of public record that Beto O’Rourke was arrested for driving while intoxicated in 1998, but a police report recently obtained by the Houston Chronicle reveals that the Democratic Senate candidate crashed and tried to flee the scene before his arrest.

O’Rourke, then 26, was driving at “a high rate of speed” on a Texas highway roughly ten miles from the New Mexico border when he crashed into a truck and spun across the median into oncoming traffic. A witness whom O’Rourke passed shortly before crashing later told police he personally prevented O’Rourke from fleeing the scene. The unnamed witness “turned on his overhead lights to warn oncoming traffic and to try to get the defendant [O’Rourke] to stop,” according to the report.

The rising progressive star, who blew a 0.136 and a 0.134 on police breathalyzers, did not address the witness report that he tried to flee the scene in a statement released on Thursday.

“I drove drunk and was arrested for a DWI in 1998,” O’Rourke said. “As I’ve publicly discussed over the last 20 years, I made a serious mistake for which there is no excuse.”

Republican senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who is engaged in a tight race with O’Rourke, has not commented on the newly revealed details of his opponent’s arrest.

O’Rourke, the son of an El Paso County judge, was charged with driving while intoxicated following the incident but completed a court-ordered diversion program to ensure that the charges would be dismissed.

The DWI arrest was not O’Rourke’s only youthful run-in with law enforcement: He was also arrested for trespassing after hopping a fence at a University of Texas at El Paso facility.

The Texas congressman and Senate hopeful has cited his past wrongdoings in justifying his support for criminal-justice reform.

“Those mistakes did not ultimately define me or stop me from what I wanted to do in my life or how I wanted to contribute to the success of my family and my community,” O’Rourke wrote in an op-ed for the Chronicle published on Monday.

IN THE NEWS: ‘[WATCH] Andrew Gillum Wins Stunning Florida Gov Primary’

Most Popular

White House

More Evidence the Guardrails Are Gone

At the end of last month, just as the news of the Ukraine scandal started dominating the news cycle, I argued that we're seeing evidence that the guardrails that staff had placed around Donald Trump's worst instincts were in the process of breaking down. When Trump's staff was at its best, it was possible to draw ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More
World

Is America Becoming Sinicized?

A little over 40 years ago, Chinese Communist strongman and reformer Deng Xiaoping began 15 years of sweeping economic reforms. They were designed to end the disastrous, even murderous planned economy of Mao Zedong, who died in 1976. The results of Deng’s revolution astonished the world. In four decades, ... Read More
National Review

Farewell

Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More