There is a lot of hullaballoo about whether former President Trump will soon be indicted, but there is one former president who was definitely arrested while in office: Ulysses S. Grant. The crime, per the Washington Post, was born of "Grant's love of fast horses," and ended with the arrest of a sitting president by a Black man who had served in his army during the Civil War. The Post cites a 1908 story in the Washington Evening Star in which one since-retired police officer, William H. West, gave a bit of a tell-all about the time in 1872 in which he arrested his former boss. It goes a little like this:
DC cops had been getting complaints of speeding carriages; there had been an accident, and West was investigating when another group of scofflaws sped toward him. He flagged them down, including one man driving "a pair of fast steppers," per the Star story, which "he had some difficulty in halting." It was the president, He was less than pleased, asking West, "what do you want with me?" West informed him that he was "violating the law by speeding along this street," and further had "set an example for a lot of other gentlemen." Grant made his apologies, said it would never happen again, and was let off with a warning. But the next night, West again busted Grant going so fast that, per the Post, "it took him an entire block to stop." Grant told West he had no idea he was going so fast.
This time West wasn't having it. He told the Star that Grant was smiling and looked like a busted schoolkid. West's quote, which granted is recalling a 36-year-old incident, is thus: "I am very sorry, Mr. President, to have to do it. For you are the chief of the nation, and I am nothing but a policeman, but duty is duty, sir, and I will have to place you under arrest." And so he did. Grant and some other alleged speeders went down to the DC pokey, and the sitting president of the United States of America had to pony up $20 as collateral. A trial was held for the drivers the next day, and fines and a "scathing rebuke" were issued. But the president, dear readers, was a no-show. (Read more Ulysses Grant stories.)