June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Tribe’s Shin-Soo Choo arrested for DUI in Sheffield Lake

SHEFFIELD LAKE — Cleveland Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was charged with DUI early Monday after tests showed his blood-alcohol content was more than 2½ times the legal limit, police said.



Choo was pulled over about 2:25 a.m. after he was spotted weaving in the 5500 block of Lake Road in Sheffield Lake by an officer who was on patrol in the area, according to a police report.

He left the city jail on a personal bond a few hours after his arrest and, as he was leaving the police station, he threw a digital camera he had onto the police station’s concrete parking lot, destroying it.

“From what the officer told me, he was going through all kinds of different mood swings, he was real friendly and nice, then he’d get real angry and when he was walking out he threw his camera down and busted it,” Sheffield Lake Police Chief Larry Bliss said.

Choo, a key cog in the middle of the Indians lineup a year ago, has been struggling at the plate for much of the year, even as his team continues winning. He was in Oakland on Tuesday as the Indians started a six-game road trip against the A’s and then the Angels.

“We are aware of the incident with Shin-Soo Choo and have spoken to him about it,” Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said in a statement on the team website. “The Indians organization takes these issues very seriously and we are disappointed in the matter.”

Choo was driving down Ferndale Avenue in a 2007 Cadillac SUV when he pulled over to ask an officer who was on patrol in the area for directions to Avon Lake, where Choo lives, according to a police report.

After offering Choo directions, the officer followed him to make sure he did not get lost again, but Choo pulled down a side street a few minutes later and put his hazards on so the officer would give him additional instructions on how to get home. The officer said he did not smell any alcohol on Choo while he spoke to him, according to the report.

While following him again, the officer noticed Choo’s vehicle cross the double yellow center line in the 5500 block of Lake Road then come to a flashing yellow light and almost come to a complete stop before continuing eastbound, according to the police report.

The vehicle then drove onto a bike path. While moving back into the road, it ended up crossing over the double yellow lines again, the report said. That’s when the officer conducted a traffic stop.

The South Korean-born Choo failed several sobriety tests, including not being able to count past “five one thousand” and using the wrong fingers to touch his nose. He was placed under arrest and while at the station blew a 0.201 on the breath test. Ohio law deems a driver too impaired to drive at 0.08.

Choo was given a ride home to Avon Lake by a patrolman using his cruiser, which is something commonly done with people charged with DUI if they live close, Bliss said.

“Normally we do it if they live close,” he said. “If they live in Lorain, Avon Lake or Sheffield Lake and we can’t get ahold of anybody.”

Choo’s white vehicle had damage on the bumper area, including green paint and scratches, according to the report.

Contact Adam Wright at 329-7155 or awright@chroniclet.com.