Ex-Detroit Red Wing Todd Bertuzzi arrested on suspicion of drunk driving

Detroit Free Press

Helene St. James
| Detroit Free Press

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Former Detroit Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi has reportedly been arrested on the suspicion of drunk driving.

According to TMZ, the 46-year-old was pulled over after midnight Saturday morning in Auburn Hills after motorists called 911 to report a swerving car.

Police reportedly saw the vehicle run a red light. When Bertuzzi was pulled over, officers suspected he was intoxicated. Bertuzzi refused a breathalyzer test, but according to TMZ, Bertuzzi showed signs of impairment during field sobriety tests.

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Joe Taylor, who identified himself as a working front-desk operations for the Auburn Hills police department, said the department did not have a comment because the incident is “still under investigation.”

Records show Bertuzzi was booked 3:35 a.m. Saturday and released from Oakland County Jail 12:52 p.m. Saturday.

Bertuzzi, 46, played for the Wings in 2007 and returned for a second stint from 2009-10 to 2013-14. By that time he was on the downside of his career, but in his prime, he was one of the NHL’s top power forwards and a star for the Vancouver Canucks. It was during his time with that organization Bertuzzi was involved in an incident that became a defining part of his career.

On March 8, 2004, the Canucks and Colorado Avalanche met for the first time since Avalanche forward Steve Moore checked Vancouver’s Markus Naslund in the head on Feb. 16, causing a concussion and other injuries. There was no penalty on the play, and the NHL did not pursue a fine or suspension, but the hit on their captain angered the Canucks. The rematch was full of fights, but Bertuzzi was not able to engage Moore in one. Instead, Bertuzzi skated up to Moore and punched him in the back of the head, knocking him unconscious and then falling on top of him.

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Moore left the ice on a stretcher. He suffered three fractured neck vertebrae, ending his career. Bertuzzi was suspended the remainder of the season, and reinstated Aug. 8, 2005. (The 2004-05 season was wiped out by a labor dispute).

Bertuzzi was charged with assault causing bodily harm. Through a plea bargain, he served 80 hours of community service. A civil lawsuit dragged through courts until a confidential settlement was reached in August 2014.

Bertuzzi is the uncle for Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi. 

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail. 

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