SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco 49ers have released linebacker Aldon Smith following his arrest on charges of a hit and run, driving under the influence and vandalism.
“This organization has tried very hard to help Aldon fight his issues,” the team said in a statement released on their website. “Although he is no longer a member of this team, our support and concern for him will continue.”
Head coach Jim Tomsula held a press conference to discuss the issue.
“It’s a sad day,” he told reporters. “This is a day that doesn’t have anything to do about football.”
In his speech, Tomsula stressed again that the team would support Smith going forward.
“He will not have to walk this path alone,” Tomsula repeated. He then took time to encourage anyone struggling with substance abuse issues to get help.
“I understand the platform we are on,” he said. “If one person out there reads this, and you’re struggling, get help. Go get it. You’re worth it.”
Smith was arrested on August 6 by the Santa Clara Police Department. According to a press release from the SCPD, on the night of Smith’s arrest, he “was parking his vehicle and collided with a parked vehicle. After the collision, Smith exited his vehicle and caused additional damage to the parked vehicle with his car door.” When Smith left without “reporting the collision or leaving his identifying information at the scene,” the incident became a hit and run.
When Smith returned to the parking area, he was approached by SCPD officers who had been called to investigate the disturbance. They believed that he “displayed objective symptoms of being under the influence of an alcoholic beverage,” and administered a field sobriety test. He also provided a preliminary alcohol screening sample, but the SCPD has not disclosed the results of that test at this time.
This is Smith’s third DUI arrest since joining the NFL organization in 2011.
As he was leaving the Santa Clara County jail on a $26,000 bail, he told reporters, “I apologize for everyone I did let down, and I apologize for how it all played out.”