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February 5, 2007

Ryan O'Neal Says Son Attacked First With Fireplace Poker


Ryan O'Neal Says Son Attacked First With Fireplace Poker

Actor Ryan O'Neal was arrested over the weekend for allegedly assaulting his son, Griffin, in Malibu, police said Sunday.

Early Saturday morning, Feb. 3, Ryan, 65, was arrested by Sheriff’s Deputies from the Malibu/Lost Hills station, after fighting with his son Griffin O'Neal, 42, and Griffin's 22-year-old girlfriend, Joanne Berry. Deputies went to Ryan’s Malibu beach house at 12:30 a.m. after receiving a call that Griffin and Joanne had allegedly been attacked by the elder O’Neal.

“Ryan O’Neal was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon,? Lt. Crystal Miranda of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff's Dept., tells Star. Joanne Berry “received minor injuries,? was treated at the scene by paramedics and then taken to Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center. Although Lt. Miranda wouldn’t specify what type of weapon was used by O'Neal, the actor was also charged with "negligent discharge of a firearm." MIranda added that Ryan was released from jail Saturday morning, Feb. 3, at 5:30 a.m., after he posted $50,000 bail.

This isn't the first time Ryan and his son Griffin (his mom was Ryan's ex-wife, the late actress Joanna Moore) have gotten into a brawl. Reportedly, when Griffin was 14, Ryan knocked out his son's two front teeth reports Star Magazine. Griffin O'Neal was found guilty of reckless boating for his part in the death of Gian-Carlo Coppola, the son of Francis Ford Coppola. He also pleaded no contest to drunk driving in 1989 and no contest in 1992 to charges that he shot at his then-estranged girlfriend's empty car.

Ryan O'Neal says that it was his son Griffin who instigated the incident that led to Ryan's arrest on suspicion of assault early Saturday morning, TMZ reports.

In a statement to TMZ issued by O'Neal's rep, Ryan accuses Griffin of "wildly swinging a fireplace poker" at him, an action that allegedly caused an injury to Griffin's pregnant girlfriend.

O'Neal adds further details in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. He charges that his son grazed him "four or five times" with the fireplace poker and that when he ducked to avoid the swinging weapon, Griffin "hit his own girlfriend in the head." O'Neal adds that he got "nervous" because of the woman's pregnancy. "I fled to my room," he says, "and I got my gun." When Griffin pursued him anew, says Ryan, he fired his gun "into the banister" which scared Griffin into fleeing.

Ryan O'Neal's rep Neil Hassman tells TMZ that Ryan is "back at work" on FOX's "Bones" today and is "extremely sad and upset that this happened. Ryan was acting from a purely defensive posture, but that doesn't change the fact that he and his son had a terrible falling out." Neither Griffin nor his girlfriend could be reached for comment.



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