Pats To Discipline Rutledge
Sep. 10, 1999
ATTLEBORO, Mass. (AP) _ New England tight end Rod Rutledge faces criminal charges of leaving the scene of an accident, operating to endanger and speeding after an early morning crash Friday on Interstate 95, police said.
Rutledge, 24, suffered minor injuries in the accident that occurred around 12:30 a.m., state police spokesman Lt. Paul Maloney said.
Rutledge was driving in the center lane of I-95 northbound when he attempted to pass a car on the right while speeding, police said. He lost control of his car, skidded off the highway and crashed into two tractor-trailers parked in a rest area, Maloney said. The trucks' drivers were sleeping at the time and were not injured.
After the accident, a second car apparently traveling with Rutledge pulled into the rest area, picked up Rutledge and left the scene, Maloney said. The Patriots identified the driver of the second car as Ben Coates, also a New England tight end.
Rutledge, a backup in his second year with the Patriots, surrendered at the state police barracks in Foxboro at 3:30 a.m., police said.
According to print and broadcast reports, the players were returning from a club in Providence, R.I.
The Patriots said Rutledge would face internal disciplinary measures, but didn't elaborate.
``Team officials have met with Rutledge to discuss the matter, which is considered conduct detrimental to the team, and expressed their disappointment with behavior which endangered him and others,'' the team said in a press release.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James declined to say whether the team will discipline Coates.
Both players would be permitted to play in Sunday's game against the Jets, James said.
Rutledge will be summoned to Attleboro District Court at a later date, Maloney said.