Cops: Gary Coleman Slugs Fan

Gary Coleman, the former "What you talking `bout?'" kid on TV's "Diff'rent Strokes," was booked Friday for investigation of assault and battery for allegedly punching a female autograph seeker.

Coleman, accompanied by attorney Adam London, surrendered at police headquarters shortly before 3 p.m. two hours after a deadline originally set by police for him to appear for questioning.

Coleman said nothing but smiled as he walked through a crowd of photographers and reporters. London kept his arm around the diminutive actor as he shepherded him into the building.

Lt. James McInerny said Coleman was arrested and booked for investigation of assault and battery, then released on his own recognizance pending an Aug. 25 court date in Inglewood Municipal Court.

Coleman was fingerprinted, photographed and was asked to make a statement to police but declined on advice of his attorney, McInerny said.

"He was very cordial, very polite and talked to employees who said hi to him," McInerny said.

Coleman spent about 30 minutes inside the station and then left through a side door and got into a silver Mercedes-Benz without speaking to reporters.

"We're looking forward to resolving this matter very quickly," his lawyer said before driving Coleman away.

The 4-foot-7 Coleman, who now works as a Fox Hills Mall security guard, was shopping for a bulletproof vest at the California Uniforms store Thursday afternoon when he allegedly flew into a rage, punched Tracy Field in the eye and beat her when she collapsed on the floor, police said.

If convicted of battery and verbal assault, Coleman could be sentenced to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine and could lose his security guard license, McInerny said.

Written by Cynthia L. Webb
©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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