Oscar-winning actor Jack Nicholson was charged Monday with misdemeanor vandalism and assault for allegedly smashing the windshield of a car with a golf club because he believed the driver cut him off in traffic, the Los Angeles city attorney's office said.
Robert Scott Blank of Hollywood accused Nicholson of attacking Blank's Mercedes-Benz on Feb. 8 in North Hollywood, the city attorney's office said.
Nicholson stepped out of his car at a red light at the intersection of Moorpark Way and Riverside Drive and repeatedly struck the windshield and roof of Blank's car with a golf club, according to a statement by the agency.
Blank told investigators that he never got out of his car.
Witnesses said that after the attack, Nicholson and a man who got out of the car with him returned to Nicholson's car and drove off, the statement said.
In a separate civil suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court last week, Blank, 38, said he was hurt by flying glass from the windshield and that the attack made him fear for his life.
The criminal complaint filed against Nicholson, who has been a major box-office draw for more than 20 years, charges him with one count each of vandalism and assault, said Rick Schmidt of the city attorney's Van Nuys office.
Two independent witnesses identified the weapon as a golf club and one identified the 57-year-old actor as the attacker, Schmidt said. One witness also remembered the license plate number of the vehicle, and the city attorney's office used the information to trace the car to Nicholson, authorities said.
Nicholson's lawyer, Santa Monica attorney Charles English, said he had not seen the complaint and could not comment until he had reviewed it. Blank's lawyer did not return calls to his office.
Some of Nicholson's film credits include "A Few Good Men," "Prizzi's Honor," "The Shining" and "Five Easy Pieces." He won an Oscar for best actor in 1975 for his performance as a mental patient in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."