Boston Marathon Dad Mike Rossi Shows Up In Court, Says He’s Not Mike Rossi
Less than two weeks after he was arrested at the Kenny Chesney concert at Lincoln Financial Field, Mike Rossi turned up in Courtroom 404 of the Criminal Justice Center on Thursday to respond to a criminal trespassing charge.
Rossi, who appeared in a dark suit, was given three options: Plead guilty, plead not guilty and face a trial, or enter what’s known as a summary diversion program, which allows for expungement of the arrest upon completion of the program. Rossi, 49, chose the latter.
He’s required to pay $200 for and take a court-run class on August 13th, after which the arrest would be erased from his record within several months. If he fails to complete the class, Rossi will face a trial on the single charge of criminal trespass, punishable by up to 90 days in jail.
When approached outside the courtroom, Rossi told a Philadelphia magazine reporter that he was not Mike Rossi. A court official immediately confirmed that it was, in fact, Mike Rossi who had just appeared in court.
Rossi was arrested around 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 25th in the Linc’s Lot K, which opened for tailgaters at 10 a.m. that day. According to police, Linc staff asked Rossi to move along several times, but he refused.
Police were called to the scene and again asked Rossi to move several times. Again, he refused, according to a court document filed in the case, and Rossi was placed under arrested. A law enforcement source who was on the scene tells Philadelphia magazine that Rossi had been drinking.
Rossi first garnered attention in 2015 after a letter he sent to the principal at his children’s school in Abington went viral. Rossi had taken his kids out of school for a trip to Boston, where they watched him run the Boston Marathon, and the principal reprimanded him for doing so, explaining that these would be recorded as unexcused absences.
“While I appreciate your concern for our children’s education,” wrote Rossi in a response that landed him on national television, “I can promise you they learned as much in the five days we were in Boston as they would in an entire year in school.”
But Rossi’s status as Hero Dad proved to be short-lived.
Thanks to all of the media attention he received, members of the running community began digging into his record in the sport and soon accused Rossi of cheating in the race that qualified him for the Boston Marathon, an accusation that Rossi has denied. The popular running website LetsRun.com has put up $200,000 if Rossi can duplicate his time in that qualifying race. That offer expires next Friday, July 15th.
Rossi, who has not responded to a request for comment on his arrest, works as a wedding and special events DJ for the Bucks County-based East Coast Event Group. According to his LinkedIn resume, he is currently employed as on-air personality for country music station WXTU, but a source at the station says that Rossi has not worked with them for some time. In a previous life, Rossi was co-host of the popular TV show Dancin’ on Air.
Additional reporting by Maria McGeary.
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