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Andy Dick is arrested in drug and battery case

The 'NewsRadio' actor allegedly fondled teen at a Murrieta eatery.

July 17, 2008|David Kelly | Times Staff Writer
  • Andy Dick, 42, was arrested today on suspicion of drug use and sexual battery in Murrieta.
Andy Dick, 42, was arrested today on suspicion of drug use and sexual battery… (From the Associated Press )

Actor and comedian Andy Dick, who has a history of run-ins with the law, was arrested early Wednesday outside a Murrieta restaurant on suspicion of sexual battery and drug possession.

Police said Dick, who was heavily intoxicated, grabbed and fondled the breast of a 17-year-old girl before pulling her top down in the parking lot of the Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar about 1:15 in the morning.

"The victim was traumatized by this," said Lt. Dennis Vrooman, spokesman for the Murrieta Police Department.

Police later found one gram of marijuana and one Xanax anti-anxiety pill in Dick's pocket. He was arrested and later released on $5,000 bail.

It was the latest in a string of encounters that Dick, 42, has had with authorities. The former star of the comedy series "NewsRadio" was cited last year in Columbus, Ohio, for urinating in public. He was kicked off the set of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" for repeatedly touching fellow guest Ivanka Trump. In 1999 he drove his car into a telephone pole and was charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana.

Calls to his manager were not returned.

Vrooman said police had already warned Dick about his intoxication before he went to the restaurant. Officers had encountered the comedian while responding to an altercation at the Corner Pocket Sports Cafe in Murrieta about 9 p.m. Tuesday. They told him to leave or face possible arrest on public intoxication charges. He left with five or six friends.

Dick, who listed his address as Woodland Hills, told officers he was in town to attend the funeral of a friend's father.

Later that night, Dick and his entourage arrived at the Buffalo Wild Wings and began drinking, police said. He was recognized by several patrons, including the alleged victim, who approached him.

Vrooman said the girl, who is from Murrieta, tried to talk to Dick but backed off when she realized how intoxicated he was.

Sara Lidman, one of the restaurant managers, would say only that Dick was in the bar with friends.

Police said that when Dick left he spotted the girl and her friend in the parking lot and shouted, "There are the girls!"

"He groped her breast with his right hand, then pulled down her top," Vrooman said.

The teen's friend called police.

When they arrived, they found Dick in the front seat of a Honda pickup truck heading toward a nearby Sam's Club parking lot.

Officers stopped the truck and forced all the men inside to line up so the girl could identify the man who allegedly groped her. She pointed to Dick.

A search of his pockets turned up the Xanax and marijuana. He did not have a prescription for the Xanax, police said.

Vrooman said Dick was belligerent at first and then answered officers' questions.

On Saturday, Dick was spotted at Pepe's Mexican Restaurant and Cantina in Canyon Lake in Riverside County.

"My understanding was that he was drinking soda water and was not drunk," said Pepe's owner Marty Gibson. "There was no altercation that I heard of."

Dick was arrested on suspicion of sexual battery, possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana, and he may yet be charged with public intoxication, Vrooman said.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 12 in Murrieta.

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david.kelly@latimes.com

Times staff writer Harriet Ryan contributed to this report.

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