By COLLEEN LONG
NEW YORK (AP) – A 25-year-old man initially arrested Sunday on an assault charge after Lindsay Lohan claimed he grabbed her in a New York hotel room in an argument over cellphone images was freed hours later and his arrest voided when the charge could not be substantiated, law enforcement officials said.
Instead, Christian LaBella of Valley Village, Calif., and Lohan were filing harassment complaints with police against each other after they were interviewed by police about their run-in, law enforcement officials said.
Afterward, Lohan publicist Steve Honig expressed outrage that police did not charge LaBella.
“We think it’s both distressing and outrageous,” he said in a telephone interview. “Lindsey was assaulted and there needs to be a consequence for that.”
LaBella could not be reached for comment.
LaBella was taken into custody about 6 a.m. after a 911 call came from the swank W Hotel in Manhattan’s Union Square where Lohan apparently pulled the fire alarm, the two officials said. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
A former congressional aide, LaBella was arrested on a misdemeanor assault charge but released later Sunday. The charge could not be substantiated so the arrest will 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 LaBella met hours earlier at a night club, though it was unclear whether they previously knew each other, the officials said. They went back to her room, when she noticed the cellphone photos of her on his phone and grabbed the device, the officials said.
She claimed LaBella grabbed her and threw her, but later he said she had forcefully taken his phone, the officials said. Lohan was injured but not hospitalized, Honig said in a statement.
“Lindsay has spoken with police and is fully cooperating with the investigation,” he said after LaBella’s arrest.
This is Lohan’s second run-in with law enforcement in as many weeks in New York City. The 26-year-old was accused last week of clipping a pedestrian with her car outside a nightclub and driving away. She was given a ticket and was scheduled to appear in court Oct. 23. Honig has said he expects those allegations to be proven false.
The actress was also involved in a car accident in California this summer that sent her and an assistant to a hospital, but didn’t 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 jewelry store without permission last year. That means she doesn’t 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 Rep. John Shimkus, confirmed Sunday afternoon that LaBella has worked for the congressman in his Washington office. Tomaszewski said no one from the Republican’s office had been contacted by LaBella.
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