DALLAS — Former Santa Fe resident Randy Travis is accused of driving while intoxicated and threatening to kill state troopers after the country singer crashed his car and was found naked and combative at the scene.
A mug shot released Wednesday by the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office shows 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.
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 a 911 call at 11:18 p.m. Tuesday about a man seen lying in a road 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 at the time of his arrest 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.
Vinger did not immediately respond to questions on how Travis suffered his facial injuries or whether any troopers were injured during the arrest.
“I know the vehicle suffered significant damage to the front end during the wreck,” Vinger said in an email to the AP.
Grayson County sheriff’s Sgt. Rickey Wheeler said Travis faces charges of retaliation or obstruction in addition to driving under the influence.
“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.”
A Travis representative said there was no immediate comment on the arrest.
Travis was arraigned and released on a $21,500 bond Wednesday morning from the jail in Sherman, about 60 miles north of Dallas. Blood test results are pending.
District Attorney Joe Brown says his office will review the report of the arrest. The felony retaliation or obstruction charge will be referred to a grand jury within a month or six weeks, while the misdemeanor DWI case could be filed as soon as prosecutors decide whether to proceed, Brown told The Associated Press.
The felony count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Travis was also charged with public intoxication in February after being spotted in a vehicle parked in front of a church in Sanger, about 20 miles from Tioga.
It’s been a rocky couple of years for the North Carolina native, best known for hit songs such as “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 after discovering him as a performer in a North Carolina club she owned.
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. She said her ex-husband sent several men, including an armed guard, to clean out her offices.
Randy Travis countersued in May, accusing his ex-wife of divulging confidential information about him in order 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.
In various interviews during his career, Travis credited his wife with helping turn his life around. During a television interview conducted at a Santa Fe restaurant in 1999, after the Travises had moved to Santa Fe, he said he was raised around “a lot of drinking, drugs, fighting and screaming.” He said he used to drink, smoke cigarettes and take drugs, but he stopped because of his wife.
In another interview, in which he discussed his gospel recordings with the Christian Broadcasting Network, he talked about the small town where he and his brother grew up, saying, “We were well-known in that area, not in a good way, for sure. I got into the drug thing. I totaled two motorcycles, and I got into at least 30 fights.” He said he was arrested for stealing cars and breaking and entering. Referring to Elizabeth Travis, he said, “Having her in court the last time, saying that I was not drinking, not using drugs, not running with the same people anymore — that kept me from going to prison.”
After many visits to Santa Fe during Randy Travis’ performing career, the couple eventually built a large home here. The singer was often spotted in local restaurants, shops and movie theaters and occasionally gave benefit concerts.
Associated Press Music Writer Chris Talbott assisted with this report from Nashville, Tenn.
The New Mexican contributed to this report.