Former child star Gary Coleman is free on bail, thanks to a Draper fan

By Reporter

Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 27 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

SANTAQUIN — Actor Gary Coleman was released from the Utah County Jail on Monday with a little help from a devoted fan after being arrested over the weekend on a warrant for failing to appear in court.

Santaquin Police Chief Dennis Howard said officers discovered the warrant for Coleman's arrest Sunday afternoon when they went to the "Diff'rent Strokes" star's home after a domestic disturbance call.

In August, Santaquin City Attorney Brett Rich filed charges of domestic violence assault and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors, against Coleman in connection with an incident on April 18, 2009.

Rich said he expected to deny a Deseret News request for the initial police report in that incident. He did not say what the legal grounds for denial would be but suggested releasing the report could "create bias" against Coleman in the pending criminal case.

Justice Court Judge Sharla Williams issued the warrant Jan. 11.

When Jarrod Clarke of Draper saw Coleman's mug shot on the news, he decided to drive down to Spanish Fork with a friend and post the $1,725 bail.

"I was shocked that no one had bailed him out. That's not a lot of money," Clarke said. "The poor guy's four feet tall, sitting in jail with people who really do serious crimes. I just thought it was kind of sad."

Clarke, who said he watched "Diff'rent Strokes" every day as a "latchkey kid," will get his money back as long as Coleman appears at a hearing in Santaquin Justice Court on Feb. 8, the actor's 42nd birthday.

Regardless, Clarke said, "I think it was money well spent."

Coleman's agent, Robert Malcolm, told The Associated Press he had no details about the arrest. A telephone message left for Terry Plant, an attorney who has represented Coleman in the past, was not immediately returned.

In December 2008, Coleman pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge stemming from an incident at a Payson bowling alley and was ordered to pay a $100 fine.

A personal injury lawsuit against Coleman and his wife, Shannon Price, 24, related to the same incident was recently settled.

— Paul Koepp

Contributing: Associated Press

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS