MANASSAS, Va. - Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver and Manassas, Virginia, native Rodney “Lucky” Whitehead was wrongfully charged with petit larceny, according to Prince William County police.
Authorities had originally stated the 25-year-old was arrested at about 1:30 a.m. on June 22 for taking about $40 worth of food and drink from a convenience store.
The third-year pro who played high school football at Manassas Osbourn said he was never arrested and claimed the incident was a case of mistaken identity.
When Whitehead didn’t appear for a July 6 court date he was later cut by the Cowboys. But authorities now say Whitehead was correct and it was a case of mistaken identity.
“Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017, arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys,” a press release from the police department read in part.
Officials said the man who was arrested provided them with Whitehead’s name, date of birth, and social security number. Investigators said the man falsely provided the information and they were now attempting to seek his actual identity.
“Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation,” the police department’s statement continued in part. “The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family.”
Whitehead’s release came after two Dallas defensive players were arrested during the offseason, but Cowboy’s executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones had previously said the team’s decision on Whitehead was an accumulation of incidents, without providing specifics.
"I don't think it's anything to do with anybody else," Jones said. "We feel like we've given Lucky a lot of different chances along the way going back to last year and I think just decided it was time to go in a different direction."
Whitehead was late to a Saturday walkthrough before a game at the New York Giants last December, and head coach Jason Garrett told him not to join the team flight. He was also involved in a car accident that Garrett learned about through media reports last year.
Garrett previously said any case of mistaken identity was beside the point for the Cowboys.
"In handling the situation and evaluating with the authorities there and in talking to him, we just didn't feel like it's in the best interest of the Cowboys to have him with us," Garrett said before news of Whitehead being wrongfully charged came to light.
Just a week ago Whitehead also reported that his pit bull was stolen and it was returned after a Fort Worth rapper named Boogotti Kasino said he bought the dog from a woman.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.