Travis 911 call: 'I want to say he had no shirt'
Thursday, August 9, 2012
DALLAS (AP) — Country singer Randy Travis was lying in the middle of the road with no car in sight when another driver spotted him and called 911, according to a recording released Thursday.
"I just found a guy laying in the road," the caller said in a recording released by the Grayson County Sheriff's Office. He added later, "I want to say he had no shirt on, but I don't know."
Officials said Travis was naked and threatened to kill state troopers when he was arrested late Tuesday night. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and retaliation or obstruction, and released Wednesday on $21,500 bond from the jail in Sherman, about 60 miles north of Dallas.
A mug shot showed a battered-looking Travis in a T-shirt, with a black eye and dried blood on his face. He later walked barefoot out of the county jail wearing scrubs and a University of Texas ball cap.
The 911 caller did not identify Travis by name and said he at first thought the body belonged to a deer. "I'm spooked out," he said. "I don't see a vehicle, there's a couple of cones scattered."
A representative for Travis said there would be no comment Thursday.
It was the second Texas arrest involving alcohol this year for the Grammy-winning singer, who was cited in February for public intoxication.
The sheriff's office in Grayson County, located in far North Texas along the border with Oklahoma, received the 911 call at 11:18 p.m. Tuesday from west of Tioga, where the entertainer lives.
Texas troopers responding to the scene said a Pontiac Trans Am registered to the 53-year-old Travis had been driven off the road and struck several barricades in a construction road.
Travis was not wearing clothes and made threats against the Texas troopers, said Tom Vinger, a Department of Public Safety spokesman. He said the singer refused sobriety tests, so a blood specimen was taken.
"Travis had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath and several signs of intoxication," according to a statement from the sheriff's office. "While Travis was being transported, Travis made threats to shoot and kill the troopers working the case."
Asked how Travis suffered his facial injuries, Vinger told the AP "I know the vehicle suffered significant damage to the front end during the wreck."
District Attorney Joe Brown said the felony retaliation or obstruction charge could be referred to a grand jury within a month or six weeks, while the DWI case could be filed as soon as prosecutors decide whether to proceed. The felony count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
It's been a rocky couple of years for Travis, a North Carolina native best known for hit songs like "Is It Still Over?" and "On the Other Hand." He divorced Elizabeth Travis in 2010 after 19 years, but retained her services as his manager, a role she held for more than three decades.
Earlier this year, though, Elizabeth Travis filed a lawsuit claiming that Randy Travis made it impossible for her to do her job and terminated her management contract without proper notice. Randy Travis countersued in May, accusing his ex-wife of divulging confidential information about him to damage his reputation and career.
Initially turned down by Music Row, Travis found success in the mid-1980s and became a pivotal and important figure in country music. Initially considered too country, his deep-voice traditional style inspired millions to buy his albums and artists like Alan Jackson to follow his lead.
He's charted 16 No. 1 country singles and remains an influence for many in Nashville.
Associated Press Writer Schuyler Dixon contributed to this report from Dallas and AP Music Writer Chris Talbott assisted from Nashville, Tenn.
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