Ex-Navy SEAL who claimed he killed bin Laden charged with DUI

Story highlights

  • Rob O'Neill said he fired the shot that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011
  • He was arrested in Butte, Montana

(CNN)Rob O'Neill, the former Navy SEAL who claimed he shot and killed Osama bin Laden, was arrested early Friday in Montana and charged with driving under the influence, authorities said.

"At 2:20 a.m., we responded to a call about someone sleeping [in a vehicle] in the parking lot of a convenience store in Butte," Butte-Silver Bow Undersheriff George Skuletich told CNN. "We woke him up and identified him as Rob O'Neill. He failed a sobriety test and refused a breathalyzer. He was cited with a DUI and has since bonded out of jail."
O'Neill said he expected to be exonerated.
    Ex-SEAL describes killing bin Laden
    Ex-SEAL describes killing bin Laden


      Ex-SEAL describes killing bin Laden


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    "The facts are that I took a prescribed sleep aid to help with long-standing severe insomnia," he said. " While the timing was bad and I highly regret this decision, I am innocent of the charges and have entered a plea of not guilty.
    "I am confident I will soon be cleared of this matter. I would also like to express my appreciation to the Butte Police Department for their professionalism and courtesy."
    Skuletich said the charge was considered a misdemeanor because it was O'Neill's first offense. He is expected to appear in court Monday, Skuletich said.
    Navy SEALS usually don't seek publicity but O'Neill said in a 2014 interview with The Washington Post that he was the one who fired the final shot to kill Osama bin Laden during a 2011 raid on the al Qaeda leader's compound in Pakistan.
    He said other SEAL team members were involved in the raid, including Matt Bissonnette, who detailed the group's experiences in his memoir, "No Easy Day."
    A U.S. official confirmed to CNN's Barbara Starr that O'Neill was on the raid.
    Two Special Operations sources confirmed to CNN's National Security analyst Peter Bergen that O'Neill was one of the shooters in bin Laden's room -- but others in the military community have wondered whether he can claim to kill bin Laden since there were at least two others in the room who fired weapons.