Arrest warrant issued for Russell Brand over iPhone

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 15, 2012 2:19 PM
Arrest warrant issued for Russell Brand over iPhone

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - An arrest warrant for Russell Brand has been issued in New Orleans, after a photographer accused the British comedian and actor of grabbing his iPhone and tossing it through a window, police said on Thursday.

The misdemeanor warrant is for suspicion of simple criminal damage and the offense carries a $700 fine, said New Orleans police spokesman Officer Garry Flot.

Celebrity website TMZ has posted photos of "Get Him to the Greek" star Brand, clad in a dark jacket and torn jeans and pulling an iPhone from a man in a car. Another photo on the site shows a broken window through which Brand was said to have thrown the phone.

The paparazzi photographer filed a police report over the incident, which happened on Monday, TMZ reported.

A spokesman for Brand could not be reached for comment on the arrest warrant.

But Brand defended himself with an ironic comment on his Twitter page on Wednesday. "Since Steve Jobs died I cannot bear to see anyone use an iPhone irreverently, what I did was a tribute to his memory," Brand said.

It was unclear if Brand had already left New Orleans, and Flot declined to say if police are trying to track him down.

New Orleans attorney Townsend Myers, who is not representing Brand, said police could later issue a summons for Brand to appear in court without arresting him, or they could take him into custody.

Brand and pop star Katy Perry finalized their high-profile divorce earlier this year, ending a marriage that lasted just over a year.

The star of such films as "Arthur" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" has had numerous run-ins with the law over the years, and he has been public about his past drug use.

Last year, he was deported from Japan over his criminal history when he was trying to visit Perry on her concert tour in the country. In 2010, he was arrested for an alleged attack on a paparazzi at a Los Angeles airport.

(Reporting By Kathy Finn: Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)