Actor Cuba Gooding sought after New Orleans bar dispute

Reuters News

7/31/2012 4:12:41 PM - Reuters News

By Kathy Finn

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - New Orleans police issued an arrest warrant for Cuba Gooding Jr on Tuesday after the actor allegedly pushed a bartender twice during a dispute in the city's renowned French Quarter.

New Orleans police said the incident happened early on Tuesday morning at a bar on raucous Bourbon Street. A female bartender told police that Gooding became agitated when customers recognized him and asked him to take photos with them.

Gooding allegedly pushed the bartender when she asked him to calm down. She asked him to leave and he pushed her again, a police statement said.

Gooding had not been arrested by early afternoon on Tuesday, police spokeswoman Hilal Williams said.

New Orleans police said Tuesday afternoon they were in contact with Gooding's attorney, Peter Toumbekis of New York, who said Gooding is taking necessary actions to address the matter. The attorney told Reuters he would comment on the incident later.

The actor was in New Orleans shooting a new movie, "The Butler," starring Liam Neeson, the New Orleans Film Commission said.

Gooding won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of an arrogant but loyal professional football player in the 1996 movie "Jerry Maguire."

(Reporting By Greg McCune and Kathy Finn; Editing by Kenneth Barry, Mary Wisniewski and Richard Chang)