Lindsay Lohan 'assault suspect' released


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The Independent Online

A 25-year-old man held for assault after actress Lindsay Lohan claimed he grabbed her in a New York hotel room in an argument over mobile phone images was freed hours later and his arrest expunged when the charge could not be substantiated, police said.

Instead, Christian LaBella of California, and Mean Girls star Lohan, 26, were filing harassment complaints with police against each other after they were interviewed about their run-in, law enforcement officials said.

Later Lohan's publicist Steve Honig expressed outrage that police did not charge Mr LaBella.

"We think it's both distressing and outrageous," he said. "Lindsey was assaulted and there needs to be a consequence for that."

Mr LaBella could not be reached for comment.

Mr LaBella was taken into custody about 6am yesterday after an emergency services call came from the plush W Hotel in Manhattan's Union Square where Lohan apparently activated the fire alarm, the law enforcement officials said.

Former congressional aide Mr LaBella was arrested on a misdemeanour assault charge but released later. The charge could not be substantiated so the arrest would be voided, the officials said.

The paperwork was being completed on cross-harassment complaints, which are considered a violation, and no other legal action would be taken, the officials said.

Lohan and Mr LaBella met hours earlier at a nightclub, though it was unclear whether they previously knew each other, the officials said.

They went back to her room, when she noticed the mobile phone photos of her on his phone and grabbed the device, the officials said.

She claimed Mr LaBella grabbed her and threw her, but later he said she had forcefully taken his phone, the officials said. Lohan was injured but not taken to hospital, Mr Honig said.

"Lindsay has spoken with police and is fully co-operating with the investigation," he said after Mr LaBella's arrest.

This is Lohan's second run-in with law enforcement in as many weeks in New York City. She was accused last week of clipping a pedestrian with her car outside a nightclub and driving away. She was given a ticket and was due to appear in court on October 23. Mr Honig has said he expects those allegations to be proven false.

The troubled actress was also involved in a car accident in California this summer that sent her and an assistant to a hospital, but did not result in serious injuries for anyone. The accident remains under investigation.

In May, she was cleared of allegations that she struck a Hollywood nightclub manager with her car.

Lohan remains on informal probation for taking a necklace from a jewellery shop without permission last year. That means she does not have to check in with a judge or probation officer but could face a jail term if arrested again.

Lohan recently filmed The Canyons, an indie film written by Less Than Zero and American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis.

Steve Tomaszewski, a spokesman for Illinois politician John Shimkus, confirmed last night that Mr LaBella had worked for the congressman in his Washington office.

Mr Tomaszewski said no-one from the Republican's office had been contacted by Mr LaBella.