'Partridge Family' star Cassidy arrested for DWI in Schodack

Posted at: 08/21/2013 12:13 PM
Updated at: 08/21/2013 11:38 PM
By: WNYT Staff

David Cassidy, 63, is charged with felony DWI and failure to dim headlights.
David Cassidy, 63, is charged with felony DWI and failure to dim headlights.
Photo: Schodack Police Department

SCHODACK - More than a generation ago, David Cassidy was a household name, a pop culture icon and a teenage heartthrob. Now the former singing sensation is free on bail after an overnight encounter with Rensselaer County police officers.

It wasn't as obvious as a giant, multi-colored school bus coming down the road, but when a Schodack police officer noticed an oncoming car that failed to dim its high beams, that provided probable cause to make a traffic stop.

Behind the wheel, according to police, was 63-year-old Cassidy of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"He was a gentleman the whole time," said Schodack Police Chief Bernhard Peter. "His demeanor was friendly and pleasant and he cooperated 100 percent."

Peter says his officer pulled Cassidy over on the Columbia Turnpike, routes 9 & 20, just after midnight, detected the smell of alcohol and performed a field sobriety test. Cassidy's blood alcohol level, Peter says, was 0.10.

"Mr. Cassidy, other than being famous, is no different from the rest of us," Peter stated. "He's human and he makes mistakes. We all make them. This is a mistake that gets him notoriety."

In the 1970s Cassidy was known to the world as Keith Partridge, the oldest of five musical siblings, who, along with their television mother played by Shirley Jones, made up "The Partridge Family."

Many decades removed from his teen idol days, Cassidy, in recent years, has spoken publicly about his battle with alcohol.

He was charged with drunken driving in Florida in November 2010.

Last December, Cassidy lost his mother who suffered from severe dementia. In an emotional interview airing Sunday on Oprah's "Where are They Now," Cassidy talked about getting his mom to recognize him.

"I start to sing to her a little bit and a tear would come down her eye," Cassidy said in the interview, which was previewed on "Entertainment Tonight" Wednesday.

In happier times, Cassidy's face appeared on magazine covers and bedroom wall posters around the world.

Because of his previous arrest, Cassidy is facing felony DWI charges in Rensselaer County.

He was free Wednesday night after posting $2,500 bail and is due back in Schodack Town Court Sept. 4.