DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Sports

"Flying Tomato" Gets Canned

Snowboarder Shaun White nabbed for Colorado fire extinguisher prank

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"Flying Tomato" Gets Canned

DECEMBER 19--Shaun White, the popular snowboarder known as 'The Flying Tomato,' is facing a misdemeanor criminal rap for allegedly setting off a fire extinguisher at a Colorado ski resort. The 21-year-old White, who won a gold medal at the 2006 Olympics, was nabbed in connection with an incident last Friday in a game room at the Beaver Run ski resort.

According to a Breckenridge Police Department report, a hotel video camera recorded a man removing the fire extinguisher from the wall and placing the device on the ground, 'then a large cloud of smoke begins to develop as the extinguisher is discharged by the male.'

White, who had been in the game room with a woman he was playfully chasing with a pool stick, was charged after cops matched his distinctive shoes with those seen on the surveillance video. Investigators also noted that the 'tread pattern' on White's kicks matched footprints left in the dust caused by the fire extinguisher discharge.

After the incident, a hotel security guard approached the couple, since he had seen them entering the game room prior to the extinguisher being discharged. The guard, Sean Fay, asked if the duo had seen anyone exiting the game room. 'The male told Fay he observed a white male with long red hair pulling the pin from the fire extinguisher.' Bizarrely, it seems that White actually fingered himself.

After being read his Miranda rights, White refused to answer questions from police, who cited the athlete (and American Express spokesman) for second degree criminal tampering. After being presented with the summons, White--who smelled of booze--'wadded up' the document 'and shoved his copy into his jacket pocket.' He was then driven back to his hotel by a representative of Burton Snowboards. (4 pages)