Dennis Rodman is a Hall of Famer for his terrific NBA career. If there was a Hall of Fame for odd behavior and off-the-court problems, he would also be a first-ballot entrant. While Rodman was a great basketball player, he also faced controversy and problems off the court — including a run-in or two with the law.
None of his criminal issues were major offenses, though, so Rodman never received a significant prison sentence.
Dennis Rodman’s early crimes
One of Rodman’s earliest arrests came in November 1999. Police arrested him and his then-estranged wife, Carmen Electra, at an upscale hotel in Miami Beach, as reported by the LA Times. Police responded to a call for a physical altercation between the stars, who divorced earlier in the year.
Rodman and Electra both received charges of misdemeanor battery. Police took them to the Miami-Dade County Jail for booking. The couple got out on bail that same day, but it was the basketball star’s second arrest of the year.
That August, he caused a disturbance at a California restaurant and got into a scuffle with another patron. Rodman got arrested on suspicion of public drunkenness and spent the night in jail. So, the answer to the question posed in the introduction is yes, Rodman has been to jail.
Rodman’s multiple DUI arrests
Rodman has had multiple DUI arrests over the years, including one in January 2018. Police pulled him over in Newport Beach, Calif. He had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit in the state.
This led to a charge of misdemeanor drunken driving. Rodman entered a residential treatment program and committed to undergoing outpatient treatment to avoid a potential two-year prison term.
CBS News discusses other times Rodman faced drunken-driving charges, which date back to December 1999. He pled guilty to a misdemeanor DUI charge and, as a first-time DUI offender, paid $2,000 in fines and fees and went to a three-month alcohol program to avoid jail time. In the ’99 DUI situation, his .15 blood-alcohol level was nearly double the legal limit of .08.
Rodman charged with slapping a man in Florida
Perhaps the weirdest charge came in May 2019, as NBC News reports. Rodman was celebrating his 58th birthday at a Delray Beach, Fla., bar when he faced accusations of slapping a fellow patron at the bar twice. The man claimed to wake up with swelling in his face the next morning. However, the responding officer’s report said there was no swelling or injuries observed on the victim at the time.
The Miami Herald gives more details from the police report, which said Rodman “turned around and smacked” the alleged victim, who was having a conversation directly behind the Hall of Famer.
Rodman “immediately began apologizing” to the man “was very sentimental” about what happened, even inviting the man to an event the next day. Instead, he woke up with a swollen face that day and decided to press charges. A friend of the supposed victim corroborated the story.
But Rodman’s attorney said several other witnesses denied seeing Rodman slap anyone. He said, “No one saw any such incident occur and Dennis was sober the entire night.” Prosecutors ultimately charged Rodman with one count of misdemeanor battery, but he entered a plea of not guilty in court.