In the ever-intriguing saga of Orenthal James Simpson, certain dates just naturally stick out.
On a happy note, there’s December 5, 1968, when O.J., then a halfback at USC, won the Heisman Trophy. Then there’s December 16, 1973, when O.J. celebrated breaking Jim Brown’s single-season rushing record and joined the “2,000 Yard Club.”
Going infinitely darker, there’s June 12, 1994, when somebody slaughtered O.J.’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman outside her lush Los Angeles home. That’s followed, then, by the dubious achievement of October 3, 1995, when O.J.’s “dream team” of defense attorneys got him acquitted for that iconically infamous double murder.
As a standalone date, December 4 occupies a space somewhere in between the extreme ups and downs of those previous examples.
On that single calendar day, O.J. Simpson found himself very publicly caught up in legal situations. Both ended in O.J.’s favor; it’s just notably weird that they occurred exactly one year apart from one another. Ah, well — that’s O.J.!
DECEMBER 4, 2000: O.J. GETS BUSTED FOR ROAD RAGE
MIAMI, FL — In an otherwise quiet Miami suburb on this particular December afternoon, O.J. Simpson ran a stop sign in his Lincoln Navigator and then, according to his accuser Jeffrey Pattinson, ran completely wild.
Pattinson testified that, in anger, he honked and flashed his lights at Simpson’s vehicle. He then claimed that Simpson pulled over and attacked him, reaching into Pattinson’s Jeep Wrangler and pulling a pair of eyeglasses off of Pattinson’s face “like a madman.”
Police charged Simpson with misdemeanor battery and felony burglary inside an automobile. The combined charges could, if O.J. was found guilty, pack a whopping 16-year prison sentence.
On October 24, 2011, though, a jury found Simpson not guilty, citing a lack of evidence. Reporters quoted one courthouse worker announcing the news by saying, “The Juice is loose!” [Los Angeles Times]
DECEMBER 4, 2001: FBI, DEA, COPS SEARCH O.J.’S HOUSE, FIND NOTHING
MIAMI, FL — After a two-year investigation into an organized-crime network specializing in drug distribution, money laundering, and satellite signal theft, more than 30 agents from the FBI, the DEA, and local Miami-Dade County law enforcement raided the home of O.J. Simpson just prior to 6 A.M.
A judge signed off on the raid after Simpson’s name came up during a wiretapped conversation between suspects.
But after scouring the residence for several hours, the searchers came away empty-handed and ultimately conceded that no evidence existed of Simpson being involved with the criminal ring — nor had he, in fact, committed any crime.
Yale Galanter, Simpson’s lawyer, said his client wasn’t angry, noting, “He’s used to this type of thing in his life.” [CNN]
For more on O.J. Simpson, watch Investigation Discovery’s O.J. Simpson Trial: The Real Story on ID GO now!
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Main photo: O.J. Simpson, 2001 road rage acquittal/YouTube video [screenshot]