Bruce Springsteen “smelt strongly of alcohol” and “had glassy eyes” when he was accused of driving drunk last year, according to a National Park Service ranger’s report.
But actor Alec Baldwin suspects the rocker known as “The Boss” may have been issued a summons for other reasons.
“I wonder if Springsteen’s arrest [sic] had anything to do with his politics,” Baldwin wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Baldwin cited no evidence for his suspicion – one of several celebrity reactions after the normally squeaky-clean Springsteen drew attention for his run-in with the law.
Like Baldwin, Springsteen has long been associated with liberal views and causes. But media reports of the star’s DWI matter – following a motorcycle trip to a national park in New Jersey in November – gave no indication that it was anything more than a case of a park ranger doing his job.
Other celebrity reactions suggested there was support for Springsteen getting off scot-free for his alleged transgression.
“They arrested Bruce Springsteen in New Jersey! This is Sacrilegious,” actor Michael Rapaport wrote. “Would you arrest the Pope in Italy? Free The Boss!”
“Totally unbelievable,” Springsteen’s E Street bandmate, Stevie Van Zandt wrote.
Former federal prosecutor Preet Bharara suggested he would not be able to remain impartial if he were involved in the case.
“Yes I am aware of the Springsteen DWI issue,” Bharara wrote, adding later, “I’m of course recused.”
Springsteen, 71, was cited last Nov. 14 at the Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook, N.J., for driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and consuming alcohol in a closed area, according to the National Park Service, the Asbury Park Press reported.
An NPS ranger identified as R.L. Hayes reported seeing Springsteen take a shot of tequila and then get on what was described as a red and silver Triumph motorcycle and start the engine, according to the newspaper.
Springsteen had stopped to pose for photos with fans when he was offered the shot of booze, the report said.
The ranger informed Springsteen that alcohol was prohibited in the park, and the rocker said he had consumed two shots in the 20 minutes prior to his arrest.
The park service said Springsteen was “cooperative throughout the process” after he was pulled over – though he initially refused to take a breath test, the Press reported.
A source later told the newspaper that Springsteen’s blood-alcohol reading came back below the level that’s considered illegal.
Springsteen is expected to make a virtual court appearance in connection with the case but no date has yet been set, The Associated Press reported.
News of Springsteen’s DWI incident surfaced nearly three months after it occurred. In the intervening weeks, Springsteen performed outside the Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 20 following President Joe Biden’s inauguration and appeared in a pre-recorded TV commercial for Jeep that aired during the CBS broadcast of the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.
Jeep deleted the ad from YouTube after news of Springsteen’s DWI charge.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.