Winston-Salem, NC – Bodycam footage captured an interaction between drunken former U.S. soccer star and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Hope Solo and Winston-Salem police after she was found passed out behind the wheel of her running SUV with her two children asleep in the back seat (video below).
Although the incident occurred on March 31, the bodycam footage was just recently released after a six-month court battle between Queen City News and the Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD).
Bodycam videos are not considered public information under North Carolina law, so the news outlet said it was forced to sue the police department to gain access to the footage.
WSPD Officer A.M. Sereika made contact with Solo in the parking lot of a Walmart store at approximately 9:15 p.m. on March 31 after the department received a report that a woman had been sleeping in her running vehicle “for over an hour,” Queen City News reported.
Officer Sereika approached the SUV and awoke 40-year-old Solo by knocking on her window, bodycam footage showed.
“Oh my god!” the dazed woman responded a moment before she rolled down her window.
“Hi, can you open the door for me? Are you okay?” Officer Sereika asked. “People were kind of concerned you guys were out here sleeping and want to make sure you were okay.”
Solo said she was just taking a nap and began scrolling through her phone as the officer continued asking her questions, the video showed.
“Are your kids okay?” he asked at one point.
“Of course,” she responded.
Officer Sereika then instructed Solo to shut off her vehicle and she complied with his request, the video showed.
“How much have you been drinking tonight?” he asked.
“I have not,” Solo said.
“Are you sure?” he pressed.
“I’m perfectly fine, thank you, sir,” she told him.
Officer Sereika asked Solo for her identification, but she continued looking at her phone and placed a call instead of finding the documents he requested, the video showed.
She told the person on the other end of the line that she had “no idea” why the officer was there and that she had just pulled over to take a nap because she was “so f—king tired.”
Officer Sereika later explained to Solo that he could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her person when she rolled down her window.
“I don’t think so, sir,” she said, suddenly placing a mask over her mouth and nose.
When Officer Sereika asked Solo for her identification yet again, she began arguing that she was on her phone and that she had “every right to” remain on the call, the video showed.
“She’s drunk,” the officer said out of earshot of Solo during a brief conversation with a second officer who arrived at the scene a short while later. “She’s got two kids. She was passed out asleep in the front seat.”
He noted that he could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from her.
“She’s completely oblivious to everything that’s, like, going on right now,” he added.
Solo finally handed over her identification when the officers returned to her vehicle, but became increasingly argumentative as the conversation continued, the video showed.
Despite the fact the vehicle had clearly been idling when the officer first began speaking with her, Solo insisted it had not been.
“Ma’am, you turned the car off right in front of me,” Officer Sereika reminded her.
While Officer Sereika went back to his patrol vehicle to run Solo’s information, SWPD Officer G.J. Mager asked her if she was willing to complete some field sobriety tests, Queen City News reported.
She refused, at which point Officer Mager asked her to step out of her vehicle.
Solo continued looking at her phone, ignoring his request.
“Step on out of the vehicle, or I will make you step out of the vehicle,” he calmly told her. “I’m asking you nicely, so you don’t cause a scene in front of your kids.”
But Solo remained seated and told the officer he could not take her phone.
Officer Mager repeatedly asked for her cooperation and pointed out numerous times that her children were present.
“Step out of the car so I can make sure you are sober and able to be a competent adult in front of these kids,” he said.
Solo told the officer that it was “fine” that she smelled like alcohol because she wasn’t driving, the video showed.
“The car was not on,” she insisted, as her children began crying in the back seat.
As the officer began pulling Solo from the car, she told him she wanted to contact her attorney, the video showed.
When Officer Sereika walked back over to assist, Solo complained to him that Officer Mager had taken her phone away.
Solo refused to complete field sobriety tests while the back-and-forth with the officers continued, so they ultimately obtained a search warrant to have her blood drawn for alcohol testing, Queen City News reported.
The officers ultimately placed Solo under arrest, the video showed.
She briefly tried to pull away while they were handcuffing her, but she was quickly taken into custody without further incident.
The WSPD said Solo’s husband came to the scene to pick up the children, Queen City News reported.
A blood test later revealed Solo had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.244, which was three times above the legal limit, according to the news outlet.
Solo also tested positive for the active ingredient in marijuana.
Solo was charged with driving under the influence, resisting arrest, and child abuse, Queen City News reported.
As officers were escorting the former soccer star to a patrol car after the blood draw was complete, she repeatedly ordered them not to touch her and told them she would file complaints against them alleging that had touched her “inappropriately,” bodycam footage showed.
She made various calls on her cell phone while being transported to the jail facility, and even continued speaking with someone as she was being walked into the processing area.
“These police officers are a bunch of…everything you thought they would be,” Solo said during the call. “A bunch of young, unintelligent f—ks.”
She lashed out at the officers directly while she was being fingerprinted, bodycam footage showed.
“I’m so sorry you had nothing else to do tonight,” Solo said. “I hope I was very entertaining for you because I know I was. I know that I blessed you with my presence, because that’s what I do.”
The officer said he hoped Solo’s husband would take good care of their children.
“Don’t even insinuate that I’m not an amazing mother, you piece of s—t,” Solo retorted. “Jesus – you don’t know what I do every f—king goddamned day. What do you do?”
“You’re the only one who put my child – children, because I have twins, by the way – in danger,” she added. “Mother f—king police officers crawling in my car without a search warrant.”
Solo pleaded guilty in July to driving under the influence and was given an active sentence of 30 days and a suspended sentence of two years, FOX News reported.
She was given credit against the 30-day sentence for time she spent in an inpatient chemical dependency treatment center.
The court also ordered her to pay S3,100 in fines and fees and suspended her license until August of 2023.
Prosecutors dropped the resisting arrest and child abuse charges in exchange for her plea, according to Queen City News.
Solo released a statement after the sentence was handed down, saying the incident was “easily the worst mistake” of her life, FOX News reported.
“I underestimated what a destructive part of my life alcohol had become,” she said. “The upside of making a mistake this big is that hard lessons are learned quickly. Learning these lessons has been difficult, and at times, very painful.”
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Obscene Language: