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Flying Tomato Crashes to Earth

Double Olympic gold medalist Shaun White is arrested for wreaking drunken havoc at a Nashville hotel.

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White sports a black eye in his mugshot.
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By Valerie Tejeda

09/18/12

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Double Olympic gold medalist Shaun White—"The Flying Tomato"—has been charged with vandalism and public intoxication in Nashville, Tennessee, after allegedly causing drunken chaos. The 26-year-old snowboarding phenomenon was a guest at Nashville's Loews Vanderbilt Hotel this weekend. Police were summoned at 2 am Sunday morning, after a fire alarm was pulled by a drunk man—identified as White—causing the hotel to be evacuated. A hotel employee also claims to have witnessed White destroying a hotel telephone. Police say the athlete smelled of alcohol and appeared extremely intoxicated. White then attempted to leave the scene and was stopped by a hotel guest—whom White allegedly kicked before running away. The man chased him, and the two collided, causing White to fall backwards and hit his head on a fence. The Olympian was taken to a local hospital and given the opportunity to sign misdemeanor citations—but refused. "He basically put himself in jail by not signing that," says a police source. White was released from the hospital early yesterday morning, and arrested shortly after. Released later in the day, he's set to appear in court on October 10. This isn't White's first hotel-related incident: back in December 2007, he was cited by Colorado police after discharging a fire extinguisher. 

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