PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. -- On Monday, Manassas native Lucky Whitehead was dropped from the Dallas Cowboys, the same day that Prince William County Police announced that they'd made a mistake in naming him as a shoplifting suspect who was arrested last month.
“Law enforcement is pretty good in Virginia and for them to make a mistake like that and maybe cost this guy his opportunity is pretty bad.”, said Tony Kennedy, a former Virginia Tech football player and NFL free agent who played for the Dallas Cowboys min 1993.
Whitehead was let go after reports surfaced that he had been arrested for shoplifting on June 22nd in Woodbridge and failed to appear for his court appearance—only, it wasn’t him.
Police say the suspect lied to them, saying his name was Rodney Darnell Whitehead Jr.
In a statement, Prince William County Police admitted the error, saying the man charged was NOT carrying an ID, but gave them a matching date of birth and social security number. However, the Cowboys' decision to release Whitehead sticks.
Kennedy who met Whitehead last year when he spoke to the kids he coaches for the Crab Bowl says what happened to Whitehead, unfortunate and surprising, calling to mind Whitehead's speed and versatility on the field.
Kennedy said, “He has a good character. He came out and spoke to our kids during the season […] I think because of other people being arrested for the Cowboys played a factor in him being released, which is so unfortunate because it wasn’t him.”
According to NFL reports, Whitehead’s agent told the team that he wasn’t even in town when the arrest happened, saying White head had flown from Dallas/Fort Worth to Dulles Airport seven hours after said arrest.
While it’s too soon to say where the three year player will end up, Kennedy says Whitehead should keep his head up, saying,“Lucky, just keep doing what you’re doing buddy. You have something that the rest of the league don’t have, you have speed.”
Prince William County Police release a statement today saying they regret the impact this incident may have had on Whitehead and his family.
Efforts to reach the Prince William County Police Department and Whitehead's agent for comment went unanswered.