A day after Lucky Whitehead was dumped by the Dallas Cowboys -- because the third-year receiver and kick returner was linked to a shoplifting arrest in Virginia -- police acknowledged they charged the wrong person.
Prince William County Police said in a press release Tuesday a man arrested June 22 for stealing about $40 worth of food and drinks from a convenience store on June 22 did not have an ID on him. He gave the arresting officers Whitehead’s name, date of birth and social security number.
“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,” the police department said.
Investigators said the man falsely provided the information and they were now attempting to find out 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. “The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family.”
Whitehead said he "didn't know about" the case in his home state of Virginia as he was escorted off the field by a member of the Cowboys' public relations staff after the first morning walkthrough practice Monday morning. He was released before the full workout in the afternoon.
Whitehead's agent, Dave Rich, called it a case of mistaken identity and disputed whether an arrest was made.
Whitehead’s release came after two Dallas defensive players were arrested during the offseason. But Cowboys Executive Vice President of Personnel Stephen Jones 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 against 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.
Last week, Whitehead also reported that his pit bull was stolen and held for $10,000 before it was returned.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.