Police escort of Sheen motorcade under investigation
Charlie Sheen appears onstage with his 'Goddesses' Natalie Kenley, right, and Rachel Oberlin at his 'Violent Torpedo of Truth' show at Radio City Music Hall in New York, Friday, April 8, 2011. (AP / Charles Sykes)
Published Friday, April 22, 2011 2:59PM EDT
WASHINGTON - Charlie Sheen is fond of boasting about his "winning" ways, but D.C. authorities are now investigating how he won a high-speed police escort on his way to a show in downtown Washington this week.
Sheen posted a photo on his Twitter account Tuesday night showing a police car ahead of him with emergency lights flashing as he was escorted at least part of the way from Dulles International Airport to his stage show, "Violent Torpedo of Truth: Defeat is Not an Option." Sheen included a picture of a speedometer reaching about 80 mph and a message that read: "In car with Police escort in front and rear! Driving like someone's about to deliver a baby! Cop car lights (hash)Spinning!"
The former "Two and a Half Men" star was running nearly an hour late for the show after having spent the early part of his day in divorce court in Los Angeles for a custody hearing over the twin sons he shares with his estranged wife, Brooke Mueller.
The police escort is the latest bit of news for the celebrity actor, who's waged a high-profile court fight to get his sitcom job back. He also has given a series of TV interviews in recent months that have launched phrases like "winning!" and "tiger blood" into the popular vernacular.
Police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said the police department's internal affairs unit is investigating the incident, but she would not comment further.
D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson, who chairs the council's committee on public safety, said Friday he considered the escort inappropriate and was glad it was being investigated. He said that Police Chief Cathy Lanier was surprised by the escort and that she did not authorize it.
"It especially looks bad given that citizens are concerned about cutbacks in the size of the force," Mendelson said. "Not only is it inappropriate to be escorting celebrities, it just amazes me that somebody who was the recipient of this would then go and broadcast it the way he did."
Sheen spokesman Larry Solters declined to comment Friday. A spokeswoman for D.A.R. Constitution Hall, where Sheen performed, said the venue had nothing to do with arranging transportation, including the escort.
Lanier told WTTG-TV that the department does not escort celebrities, but that there are circumstances in which the police will provide escorts for security. The recipients are generally expected to repay the department for the use of the extra manpower.
She said that Sheen's police would appear to violate department policy, based on what she knows so far.
Kris Baumann, the chairman of the D.C. police union, said vendors or production companies regularly hire the police department for escorts similar to the one provided to Sheen.
"The question becomes should we be doing it, and if we are doing, what are the policies, what are the procedures to handle it?" he said.