Lance Armstrong was cited for a hit and run after the disgraced cyclist copped to allowing his girlfriend to take the heat for smashing into two parked cars after a Dec. 28 night of drinking. After partying it up in Aspen, the 43-year-old Tour de France winner (with asterisk) told authorities that his girlfriend, Anna Hansen, was behind the wheel. But the citations were transferred over to Lance, who not surprisingly has a bit of a struggle when it comes to telling the truth.
Writes the Washington Post on Feb. 3: “Armstrong first attempted to collude with his girlfriend Anna Hansen, police say, and the two agreed she would take the blame for his actions with the goal of avoiding national attention. The plan may have worked, but Hansen later admitted to police that she lied to protect Armstrong. Police later cited Armstrong for the hit-and-run.”
Negative press follows Armstrong these days like milk to Cheerios, so the seven times stripped Tour winner thought he would lay the rap on his girlfriend. But police said the report given by Armstrong and Hansen was “inconsistent” with the facts.
Colorado police issued two tickets to Armstrong last month after originally writing up Hansen with speeding and failing to report an accident. Hansen also lied, initially saying that Armstrong was not drinking.
On December 29, Aspen homeowners reported that two rental cars, being used by relatives staying with family for the holidays, were hit while parked out on the street. Hansen rang the door and her and Armstrong presented their fabricated story. A “community safety officer” also reported seeing an SUV in the neighborhood with “significant front end damage,” the Aspen Daily News reported.
In an interview, Hansen told police that she drove Armstrong’s GMC home from a party hosted at the Aspen Art Museum because Lance had a “little bit to drink.” But detectives spoke with the valet service at the museum, who confirmed that Armstrong was the one who got into the driver’s seat and drove away.
The homeowner said Hansen told them they were just driving too fast; the homeowner was also evidently impressed at Hansen’s dexterity in the snow. “A woman, well-dressed, 30ish, blonde, came running around the corner in her high heels in 6 inches of packed snow, which was pretty impressive; she ran directly to us and said, ‘We’re so sorry, we came around the corner and slipped on the ice, and we hit your cars.’ She said, ‘I’m Anna, we’re the Armstrongs, my husband’s Lance, he was just driving too fast around the corner or something,’” the unnamed homeowner recounted.
Aspen police detective Rick Magnuson wrote in his report: “Hansen added that she believed that she completed her legal obligation after providing her information to [the homeowner]. I informed Hansen that she was required to immediately notify the police of an accident and return to or remain at the scene. Hansen told me that she was unaware of this law.”
Hansen, being the good girlfriend, allowed Lance to pin the blame on her. She spoke as if her and Lance are married. “That was a joint decision,” she said. “You know we’ve had our family name smeared over every paper in the world in the last couple of years and honestly, I’ve got teenagers, I just wanted to protect my family because I thought, ‘Gosh, Anna Hansen hit some cars, it’s not going to show up in the papers, but Lance Armstrong his some cars, it’s going to be a national story.’”
According to the police affidavit, Hansen gave a rambling explanation when police confronted her with the couple’s untruths.
“He was not intoxicated, and that was um, you know, I’m sorry I lied to you that morning but I was trying to make (it) sound like, well, I was driving because that was, just, I don’t know … I was just trying to make something up at that time,” she said.
Pitkin County deputy district attorney Andrea Bryan said Hansen will not be charged separately with filing a fraudulent police report because she was cooperative with police after her story fell apart. “The policy of our office is to encourage all witnesses to tell the truth, and if witnesses lived in fear of being prosecuted for coming forward after making a mistake, we would rarely, if ever, get the full truth from our victims or witnesses,” Bryan said.
Armstrong is due to appear back in court next month. Your thoughts on Lance Armstrong being cited for hit and run?