Gary Coleman

PAYSON — It's hard to investigate an auto-pedestrian accident when not even the victim will tell police what happened.

But Payson police filed a report Monday with the city attorney anyway, citing what they know about a Saturday night run-in between former TV child actor Gary Coleman and a shutter-happy 24-year-old man.

"The officer completed his investigation as far as he can, but he's still missing some key statements (about) the situation, not the least (being) Gary Coleman's and also the pedestrian's, Colt Rushton," said Payson Police Lt. Bill Wright. "They've not wanted to talk to us. We're a little bit (stuck) in what we've got."

Police say Coleman, 40, of Santaquin, had been arguing with Rushton at South County Lanes bowling alley, 112 W. 900 North, Saturday around midnight.

Police say Coleman — who earned fame with his role as Arnold Jackson in the TV show "Diff'rent Strokes" and moved to Utah shortly after filming "Church Ball" here — was angry because Rushton had taken his picture while they were inside.

"We do know this situation evolved over wanting to have pictures of (Coleman)," Wright said. "So we (assume) he must be a fan."

When Coleman left the bowling alley, Rushton followed. Coleman got in his truck and pulled out, hitting another person's car, causing minor damage, then hitting Rushton, who was not in a vehicle, police said.

Rushton was taken via ambulance to Mountain View Hospital in Payson but was later released.

Rushton called the police station several times later that night and asked what the process was for a case like this, Wright said.

"He was basically told, 'We'd love to have you talk to us so we (could make) more headway,"' Wright said. "But we haven't had that opportunity yet."

Both men have said they don't want to talk to police without attorneys.

"We'll look forward to talking with (them) and (their) attorney when (they'd) like to talk with us," Wright said. If new information emerges, police will investigate and pass that on to the city attorney.

Attempts to contact either man were unsuccessful.

Wright knows that not everyone wants to talk with the police, but this case has been especially difficult, he said.

"We run into it with suspects," Wright said. "We don't run into it very often with people that are a possible victim in situations, so that's a little different."


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