BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Former tennis player Ilie Nastase was arrested twice in the space of six hours in his native Romania on Friday, first on suspicion of driving a car while drunk and refusing to take a breathalyzer test, and then for going through a red light on a scooter.
Nastase had a level of 0.55 mg of alcohol per liter, Bucharest chief police traffic officer Victor Gilceava said, an offense that carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.
Police initially stopped the 71-year-old Nastase around 4.45 a.m. while he was driving. They said he was visibly drunk. Gilceava said officers had to block Nastase’s vehicle as he failed to stop.
The former U.S. and French Open champion refused to take a breathalyzer and officers removed him from the vehicle and handcuffed him.
He was later released as police opened a criminal investigation against him for drunken driving and failing to take a breathalyzer test.
Nastase admitted that he had drunk beer but claimed police had manhandled him and thrown him to the ground during his first arrest.
The second time he was apprehended, he was filmed mocking police officers and accusing them of acting like the communist-era militia. Nastase got in a police car and placed a police helmet on his head during that second arrest.