Tyson Foods Chief Financial Officer John R. Tyson pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal trespassing and public intoxication on Thursday – despite being caught on video attempting to sleep in a stranger’s bed prior to his arrest.
Tyson will face the charges at trial on Feb. 15, the Wall Street Journal reported. The 32-year-old executive is heir to the Tyson Foods empire and the great-grandson of the company’s founder.
Police in Fayetteville, Arkansas, released bodycam footage last month showing officers attempting to wake up a disheveled and confused-looking Tyson, who had fallen asleep in the bed of a female college student while clad only in his boxers. TMZ and other outlets published the footage online.
The bodycam footage revealed that Tyson — a former JPMorgan investment banker who holds degrees from Harvard and Stanford — tried to ignore the officers’ commands and go back to sleep, promoting them to take action and place him in handcuffs.
Tyson’s arrest occurred just 2 a.m. Nov. 6 after the unnamed woman discovered him in her home and contacted authorities. The woman initially thought she was being burglarized, according to the police report.
Officers said Tyson was “sluggish and uncoordinated” and smelled of alcohol during the arrest. The police were able to determine his identity after finding his driver’s license and clothing at the foot of the bed.
“A college-age female was very alarmed that a male who she did not know was inside of her residence uninvited,” the police report said. Tyson was released on bond later the same morning.
Authorities also released images of Tyson walking around shirtless while being booked on the charges.
Tyson has apologized to the incident on two occasions – first in a memo to company staffers and later while speaking on the meat giant’s Nov. 14 earnings call. It was Tyson’s first time speaking on an earnings call as the company’s CFO.
“I’m embarrassed and I want to let you know that I take full responsibility for my actions,” Tyson said at the time. “I am committed to making sure that this never happens again.”
In the earlier memo to staffers, Tyson indicated that he would seek counseling for alcohol abuse.
Tyson’s arrest occurred just months after he took over the CFO gig in September. He had previously served as Tyson Foods’ chief sustainability officer and was considered a potential future CEO candidate prior to his legal trouble.
Tyson Foods declined to comment.
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