Police in Florida have released the body camera footage of former Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon’s DUI arrest, last month.
Damon, 47, is charged with resisting an officer without violence, a first-degree misdemeanor along with a citation for running a stop sign and driving under the influence of alcohol. He was found to be close to four times over the legal limit.
During the incident, Damon can be heard attempting to wriggle out of his impending arrest by telling cops he was a supporter of the police and of Blue Lives Matter.
It made no difference. Damon was booked into Orange County on February 19 after the incident in Windermere, a wealthy suburb of Orlando.
Damon’s wife, 45-year-old Michelle Mangan-Damon, also was arrested at the time and was charged with battery on an officer and resisting with violence.
Windermere police have released body camera video of the traffic stop that led to the arrest of Ex-Major League All-Star Johnny Damon and his wife outside their Florida estate
Damon’s SUV was pulled over by police having swerved and hit a curb and driven past a stop sign.
He had stopped his car directly in front of the security guard booth entrance to his neighborhood, according to ClickOrlando.
As the officer got out and approached the SUV, Damon also began to get out of his car, but the officer ordered him back insider his vehicle.
The officer then made Damon get out and stand at the back of his SUV and asked him why he and his wife were getting out of a car during a traffic stop.
An officer made Damon get out and stand at the back of his SUV
Damon stopped his car directly in front of the security guard booth entrance to his neighborhood
‘What traffic stop?’ Damon asked, sounding perplexed.
‘Do you see the police lights?’ the officer asked.
Police then asked him how much he had to drink to which he replied, ‘Just a little bit.’
During the video, Damon can be heard slurring his words and appears to be unsteady on his feet.
A breath test last saw Damon’s blood-alcohol level measuring between .300 and .294, almost four times the state’s legal limit for driving.
Damon’s wife also got out of the couple’s car despite being told by officers to wait inside.
His wife, Michelle Mangan-Damon, was also arrested and charged with resisting an officer with violence and battery of a law enforcement officer
At one point Damon could be heard telling his wife to walk home and not deal with the police
Another frame of the footage shows Mangan-Damon walking away before she was also arrested
After ignoring the officer’s request, police grabbed her and tried to push her against the car.
Damon then inserted himself between the pair. The former baseball player scuffled with the officer while he attempted to put them in handcuffs.
When a second officer arrived on the scene, the couple were finally separated and placed in cuffs.
While being arrested the couple attempt to curry favor with law enforcement and pointed out they were big supporters of Blue Lives Matter.
‘Hey, bro, I’m a good f***ing guy. I know people are trying to target me because I’m a Trump supporter,’ Damon said to the officer.
‘This is bulls***,’ Mangan-Damon said. ‘Look at our license plate. We have Blue Lives Matter. Like, this is crazy. What’s going on right now?’
Damon pleaded, ‘Guys, we are all for cops.’
In other tests he was unable to walk in a straight line and struggled to follow an LED light during tests conducted at the roadside by the police
Damon said ‘I’m good bro…’ after not performing as well as he might have expected
Damon was seen trying to walk in a straight line as part of a field sobriety test
Damon told police that he had ‘a little bit’ to drink as he spoke to cops during his arrest
Officers spend some time with him as they explained how they wanted the tests conducted
The video then sees Damon perform a sobriety test which he agrees to do because he is ‘a big boy’.
In the first test, Damon was asked to follow a red light without moving his head but he seemed to find the test challenging as video sees him repeatedly turning his head, despite the officer telling him not to.
‘I’m good, bro,’ he said during the test.
Next, in a walking test, Damon was only able to walk three steps along a painted white line on the road before stumbling.
He apologized before holding out his arms in order to balance himself and walking a further eight steps.
Damon was charged with driving under the influence and resisting an officer without violence in the February incident. His wife, Michelle Mangan-Damon, was also arrested and charged with resisting an officer with violence and battery of a law enforcement officer
Later, officers searched the SUV and appeared to retrieve what they believed to be a cup of wine.
An arrest report said Damon was ‘extremely unsteady on his feet’ and his speech was ‘extremely slurred.’
Bodycam footage also captures the ride from the arrest scene to the police station where Damon and his wife can be heard expressing confusion as to why their car was being towed.
‘I was a passenger, and I’m arrested right now,’ Mangan-Damon said. ‘This makes no sense… I should be able to go home to my kids right now.’
During the body cam video Damon can be heard slurring his words at several points
Damon could be seen struggling to walk heel to toe during his field sobriety test
Another frame shows the ex-MLB player taking a stumble
‘That makes no sense,’ Damon concurred.
‘No f***ing way,’ Damon said. ‘There’s no f***ing way I’m arrested for DUI. Because I am sober. It’s f***ed up.’
As he arrived at the precinct Damon went on to insist that he was sober.
‘Man, it’s crazy, being arrested for nothing. I get it. We were two blocks from our house, and … it is BS, but I get it. I get it,’ he said.
Damon pleaded not guilty to his DUI charge and is due back in court in May.
His wife, Mangan-Damon, also pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.
The couple has six children since marrying in 2004, and previously appeared together on the Bravo program, Below Deck Mediterranean.
Michelle Mangan-Damon (left) and Johnny Damon have six children since marrying in 2004, and previously appeared together on the Bravo program, Below Deck Mediterranean
The arresting officer’s affidavit also provides more details as to what prompted the arrest.
‘As I observed Damon, he was extremely unsteady on his feet and his speech was extremely slurred,’ the officer wrote. ‘I detected the odor of alcoholic impurities coming from his person as we stood at the rear of his vehicle.
‘I asked Damon how much he had to drink during the evening, and he stated ‘just a little bit,” the officer wrote, adding that the suspect motioned ‘with his left hand and fingers in a small pinching motion.’
Mangan-Damon allegedly ‘disobeyed’ police instructions to remain by the vehicle, telling one officer that she didn’t need to listen to him.
‘I attempted to pull Michelle toward me so that I could put her against the vehicle and then order Johnny back to the front of my car,’ the office wrote.
‘However, Michelle then proceeded to turn toward me and grab onto my left arm while simultaneously pulling away from me and pushing me,’ the report continued. ‘As she was doing this, Johnny was also intertwined among Michelle and I, which resulted in Michelle breaking away from me and she began to walk away.’
A second officer arrived and successfully handcuffed Mangan-Damon as the first officer struggled to do the same with her husband, who was allegedly ‘tensing his left arm and moving it away toward his waist’ to prevent his arrest.
According to the affidavit, Damon was repeatedly told to keep his hands by his sides and to remove them from his pockets during the field sobriety test.
Damon swings during the game against the New York Yankees on April 17, 2004 at Fenway Park in Boston. He is one of just 11 players to win a World Series title with both teams
Mangan-Damon then told one officer that her nanny was at home with her six children. The officer called the babysitter to say that the couple wouldn’t be home because they had been arrested.
After being taken to jail, Mangan-Damon complained of sharp chest pains and was transported to the Orlando Regional Medical Center.
A two-time All-Star, Damon won a pair of World Series titles as a member of the Red Sox and Yankees. He is one of just 11 players, including Babe Ruth, to win championships with both rivals.
Damon earned over $110 million in salary before taxes in 17 Major League seasons.
He has eight children between his two marriages. After divorcing his high school sweetheart, Angela Vannice, in 2002, Damon married Mangan-Damon in 2004.
Damon was forced to cut his long hair and beard after signing with the Yankees in 2006