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GIBSON CHARGED IN PCH STOP STAR FORMALLY ACCUSED OF DRUNK DRIVING.



Byline: TROY ANDERSON Staff Writer

Actor-director Mel Gibson Noun 1. Mel Gibson - Australian actor (born in the United States in 1956)
Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson, Gibson

U.S.A., United States, United States of America, US, USA, America, the States, U.S.
 was charged Wednesday with drunk driving following his controversial weekend arrest that has sparked an investigation into the Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850.  Sheriff's Department treatment of Hollywood stars.

Prosecutor Ralph Shapiro, who oversees the District Attorney's Malibu office, charged the Oscar-winning director with misdemeanors of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or higher.

Gibson, 50, was also charged with driving with an open container of alcohol, an infraction Violation or infringement; breach of a statute, contract, or obligation.

The term infraction is frequently used in reference to the violation of a particular statute for which the penalty is minor, such as a parking infraction.


INFRACTION.
 of the vehicle code.

If convicted, Gibson faces up to six months in jail.

``After reviewing all the evidence, we filed the charges we felt we could prove beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law,'' district attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison said.

The charges drew immediate criticism from some who said they also appeared to show preferential treatment to the star.

Jody Armour, an expert on celebrity trials and professor at the University of Southern California Law School The University of Southern California Law School (Gould School of Law), located in Los Angeles, California, is a graduate school within the University of Southern California. , said the fact that prosecutors also did not charge Gibson with resisting arrest resisting arrest n. the crime of using physical force (no matter how slight in the eyes of most law enforcement officers) to prevent arrest, handcuffing and/or taking the accused to jail.  ``smacks of favoritism.''

According to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 a widely publicized arrest report written by sheriff's Deputy James Mee, Gibson had alcohol on his breath and an open bottle of tequila in his Lexus when he was pulled over for speeding at 2:09 a.m. Friday on Pacific Coast Highway Pacific Coast Highway may refer to:
  • Pacific Coast Highway (United States), a segment of State Route 1 in California
  • Pacific Coast Highway (New Zealand), a 420 kilometre highway http://www.newzealand.
.

After failing a field sobriety test, the report said, Gibson tried to flee and went into an anti-Semitic rant, claiming, ``The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.''

``Certainly, there is a widespread public perception that money and celebrity status make a difference in how an alleged offender is treated by the courts and by the legal process,'' Armour said.

``There may be some substance to those perceptions as we do find, empirically, that poor people and minorities, for example, receive harsher treatment by the criminal justice system than the wealthier do.''

Robison said prosecutors decided not to charge Gibson with resisting arrest after reviewing Mee's written reports, an audiotape au·di·o·tape  
n.
1. A relatively narrow magnetic tape used to record sound for subsequent playback.

2. A tape recording of sound.

tr.v.
 Mee recorded during the arrest and a videotape of Gibson after he was taken to the Malibu-Lost Hills Sheriff's Station in Agoura Hills.

``There were a couple of seconds where he allegedly ran back to his car, but we felt it didn't rise to the level of resisting arrest,'' Robison said. ``The officer told him to stop, and he did.''

Over the years, Armour said, the public perception is that numerous celebrities have received preferential treatment or received ``less sanctions for similar crimes.''

Just last month, ``The Sixth Sense'' actor Haley Joel Osment, 18, was hospitalized with a fractured rib after losing control of his car in a La Canada Flintridge neighborhood, sheriff's officials said.

La Crescenta Valley The Crescenta Valley is a small inland valley in Los Angeles County, California. Its name derives from its crescent-like shape, with the convex portion facing roughly northeast and the concave portion southwest.  sheriff's officials said they suspected alcohol was a factor, took blood samples, but said they wouldn't be ready for three weeks. They did not interview the actor immediately, arguing their ``investigation takes a back seat to his need for medical attention.''

Office of Independent Review Chief Attorney Michael Gennaco is investigating the Gibson case and said he also plans to investigate the Osment incident as part of the larger investigation into whether the Sheriff's Department gives preferential treatment to celebrities.

Gennaco said celebrities in Los Angeles ``have had a history of receiving preferential treatment.''

``I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)

"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party.
 if it still exists to the degree it did in the past,'' Gennaco said. ``That's one of the reasons why we're doing this review.''

Gennaco said he met with Sheriff Lee Baca Leroy David Baca (b. May 27 1942, East Los Angeles, California) is the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, California.

After graduating from Benjamin Franklin High School (Los Angeles) in 1960, Baca worked his way through East Los Angeles College before starting with the L.A.
 on Wednesday morning to discuss his investigation into why sheriff's officials appeared to be trying to suppress Gibson's anti-Semitic remarks from the public.

``There may have been some attempt to shield some of this information from the media,'' Gennaco said. ``We are still looking at whether there was a good reason to do that and whether it was consistent with policy.''

troy.anderson(at)dailynews.com

(213) 974-8985
COPYRIGHT 2006 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 3, 2006
Words:649
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