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’

Jack Crowe — Jack Crowe is a news writer at National Review Online.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Origins of Progressive Agony

What has transformed the Democratic party into an anguished progressive movement that incorporates the tactics of the street, embraces maenadism, reverts to Sixties carnival barking, and is radicalized by a new young socialist movement? Even party chairman Tom Perez concedes that there are “no moderate ... Read More
Elections

How Will the Senate Races Break?

How will the Senate races break? We have less public polling to go on than in recent years, so answering that question is harder than ever. But the news is more optimistic for Republicans than it was a month ago.   Waves and Breakers Four years ago, I projected in mid September that if “historical ... Read More
U.S.

The Media Fell for Elizabeth Warren’s Spin

Do you want to know what media bias looks like? Earlier today, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren released DNA test results that confirmed that she misled employers, students, and the public about her Native American heritage for years. Bizarrely, all too many members of the media treated the results as ... Read More
U.S.

Native Americans React to Warren’s DNA Test

Many in the Native American community reacted angrily Monday after Senator Elizabeth Warren released the results of a DNA test showing that she has a distant Native American ancestor. Warren has long said she is part Native American, prompting mockery from Republicans and President Trump, who nicknamed her ... Read More