SANTA CLARA (KRON) – San Francisco 49ers’ Aldon Smith issued an apology to his supporters Friday morning following his overnight arrest in Santa Clara, but the star linebacker explained that the situation is a misunderstanding.
Smith was arrested for driving under the influence, hit-and-run, and vandalism, according to the Santa Clara Police Department.
At about 8:46 p.m. Thursday, officers responded to a call of a crash inside a parking garage at a gated apartment complex on the 500 block of Moreland Way. Officers found evidence of a collision involving a small passenger car parked next to Smith’s SUV.
Smith left the scene on foot before officers arrived but returned to the scene and cooperated with officers investigating the hit-and-run, according to Santa Clara Police Lt. Kurt Clarke.
Smith submitted to various sobriety tests and was arrested after officers determined that he had been under the influence and was responsible for the collision, according to Santa Clara Police Lt. Kurt Clarke.
Clarke said that Smith was attempting to park his SUV and, in the process, rear ended a smaller compact car inside a parking garage inside the gated complex.
Smith was booked into jail early Friday morning but was released on $26,000 bail.
“I want everybody to understand this wasn’t a DUI,” Smith said after his release from the Santa Clara County Jail in San Jose.
Smith didn’t offer any further information but said the “situation that happened could have been handled differently.”
“I apologize to everybody I did let down and apologize for how it all played out,” Smith said. “As far as everything is concerned, it’ll work out how it’s supposed to work out.”
San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke said Tuesday night that the 49ers had been planning to sign the linebacker beyond this season despite his troubled past. Smith was on probation after pleading no contest last year to three illegal gun charges and two DUI charges in Santa Clara County.
“Aldon’s like any young player, he’s growing up, he’s maturing. You see that with a lot of these guys,” Baalke said Tuesday. “Some of them get themselves in a few more situations that you wish they didn’t. If you asked them, I think they’d say the same thing. Really pleased with the way he’s handled things, the way he’s working both personally and professionally. I think he’s doing an outstanding job. He’s always been a great teammate. He’s always had an excellent work ethic.”
Smith was previously arrested on April 13, 2014, at Los Angeles International Airport. Police said Smith was randomly selected for a secondary screening and became uncooperative with the process, telling a TSA agent that he had a bomb. No charges were filed.
Smith missed time the previous season to undergo treatment at an inpatient facility following his DUI arrest on Sept. 20, 2013. That November, he pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon, stemming from a June 2012 party at his home.
Smith, who when at his best is one of the game’s top pass-rushers, is entering a contract year after missing the first nine games of 2014 serving an NFL suspension for violations of the league’s substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies.