Las Vegas Sun

January 27, 2022

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From Hollywood to handcuffs: Celebrities arrested in Las Vegas

Rappers, rocker, socialite and former child star are among those on the list

Paris Hilton

Steve Marcus

Paris Hilton waits in a courtroom at Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Monday, Sept. 20, 2010. Hilton pleaded guilty to charges stemming from her arrest for cocaine possession at Wynn Las Vegas.

Updated Thursday, April 17, 2014 | 5:31 p.m.

Stars and stripes: It’s not just a nickname for our country’s flag.

Celebrities have found themselves at odds with the law through the years in Las Vegas, trading their Hollywood glamour for jail-issued attire. (And in full disclosure, sometimes that just meant drab dark blue or gray attire, sans stereotypical prison stripes.)

Regardless, Las Vegas seems to have lived up to its “Sin City” reputation for these celebrities. We’re not sure what was more amusing: some of their booking photos or the media hoopla each time they showed up in court. Here’s a recap of their brushes with the law.

    • Flavor Flav

      Entertainer Flavor Flav accepted a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in a case in which he was accused of threatening his longtime girlfriend's 17-year-old son with a butcher knife during a family argument.

      The 55-year-old reality TV star, whose legal name is William Jonathan Drayton Jr., first gained fame as a rapper with Public Enemy. He is known for wearing an oversized clock around his neck.

      Drayton was accused of chasing the teen to a bedroom and stabbing a knife through the door during an argument early Oct. 17, 2012.

      The argument began when Drayton woke the boy during a 3 a.m. argument with the boy's mother, Elizabeth Trujillo. It escalated when the teen, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound high school football and basketball player, wrestled the 5-foot-6 Drayton into a head lock in the kitchen.

    • Vince Neil

      Motley Crue lead vocalist Vince Neil pleaded guilty in November 2011 to misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

      The charge stemmed from a March 2011 incident in which Neil was accused of harassing his ex-girlfriend and her friends at a show at the Las Vegas Hilton.

      As part of a plea agreement, Neil paid a $1,000 fine. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a charge of battery constituting domestic violence.

      According to the arrest report, on March 24 Neil entered the Shimmer Cabaret at the Las Vegas Hilton and confronted Alicia Jacobs, his ex-girlfriend who had ended their relationship two weeks earlier.

      Neil allegedly pointed his index finger and yelled profanities at John Katsilometes, a Sun columnist and editor, and Patricia McCrone, who were with Jacobs that night, the report said.

      Neil also allegedly poked Jacobs in the right shoulder, police noted in the report. After Neil left, Hilton security was alerted and Metro Police were contacted.

    • Peter Hernandez, aka Bruno Mars, center, appears in court to waive an evidentiary hearing for a felony cocaine possession charge and receive a date in state court for a plea, Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, in Las Vegas. Mars was accompanied by his defense attorneys Blair Berk, second from left, David Chesnoff, second from right and Richard Schonfeld, right. Deputy district attorney David Schubert, left, looked on.

      Bruno Mars

      As Bruno Mars’ hit single “Just The Way You Are” reached No. 4 on the Billboard charts, the pop industry newcomer plummeted in the eyes of the law.

      Metro Police arrested him Sept. 19, 2010, at the Hard Rock Hotel restroom and confiscated 2.6 grams of cocaine. Mars, whose real name is Peter Hernandez, told police he had never used drugs before. He was at the Hard Rock for a nightclub performance.

      He pleaded guilty to felony possession of cocaine in February 2011. A Clark County judge ordered Mars to serve one year of probation, pay a $2,000 fine, undergo drug counseling and perform 200 hours of community service.

      Mars can withdraw his plea and have the case against him dismissed if he completes the requirements and stays out of trouble.

    • O.J. Simpson

      In the end, a black leather glove and white Ford Bronco had nothing to do with O.J. Simpson landing behind bars. Instead, it was a six-minute audio recording of an altercation in a Las Vegas hotel room.

      On Sept. 13, 2007, Simpson and five other men in his entourage confronted memorabilia dealers inside a room at Palace Station, while the middleman who arranged the meeting secretly recorded it. The memorabilia dealers then reported an armed robbery to police.

      Simpson said no guns were involved and that he was there to reclaim property stolen from him; however, police arrested him three days later at the Palms.

      The former NFL running back and his co-accused, Clarence “C.J.” Stewart, were found guilty Oct. 3, 2008, of robbing the collectibles dealer at gunpoint. Simpson was convicted on a dozen counts, including two counts of first-degree kidnapping, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. The other alleged accomplices testified against Simpson and Stewart.

      In December 2008, a Clark County judge sentenced Simpson to 33 years in prison without the possibility of parole for nine years. He’s currently serving time at Lovelock Correctional Center, according to Nevada inmate records.

    • Mugshots of Paris Hilton and Cy Waits after their Las Vegas arrests.

      Paris Hilton

      Paris Hilton tends to attract a lot of attention wherever she goes. That didn’t change the night of Aug. 27, 2010, when Metro Police stopped the hotel heiress and her ex-boyfriend, Cy Waits, outside the Wynn on the Las Vegas Strip.

      An officer apparently caught a whiff of what he believed to be marijuana coming from a Cadillac Escalade parked outside the resort. During the stop, a small bag of cocaine fell from Hilton’s purse. She was arrested for suspicion of felony cocaine possession.

      The reality TV star only spent a few hours at the Clark County Detention Center, but it was just enough time for Hilton, donning wavy hair with braids in the front, to smile coyly for the camera when police snapped a booking photo.

      By the end of September 2011, a Las Vegas Justice Court Justice of the Peace considered Hilton's case closed. After her arrest, Hilton’s lawyers arranged a plea deal with the District Attorney’s Office — allowing her to avoid felony charges by pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges of drug possession and obstructing an officer.

      She paid $2,000 in fines, attended a drug abuse program and completed more than the 200 hours of community service required in the year that followed.

      Meanwhile, her ex-boyfriend pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of marijuana. In return, two other charges against him were dismissed. A Las Vegas Justice Court Justice of the Peace ruled in November 2011 that Waits had successfully completed terms of his sentencing, including fines and DUI school.

    • Metro Police arrested Marion "Suge" Knight, 46, in connection with marijuana possession  during a traffic stop Wednesday in the western valley.

      'Suge' Knight

      Marion “Suge” Knight, former head of Death Row Records, was arrested for possessing marijuana during a traffic stop in February 2012.

      The alleged discovery occurred Feb. 8 in the 4000 block of Arville Street in the western valley. Knight, 46, had three outstanding warrants in Las Vegas related to traffic offenses, Metro Police said.

      During the stop, the patrol officer also found marijuana in Knight’s possession, police said.

      Knight, who played defensive end for the UNLV football team in 1985 and 1986, was arrested and booked in the Clark County Detention Center in connection with the warrants, an unsafe lane change and nonmedical possession of a controlled substance less than 1 ounce, police said.

      The 46-year-old former Death Row Records executive didn't appear in person before a judge who agreed to let attorneys Richard Schonfeld and David Chesnoff pay Knight's $425 fine on a reduced charge of driving without a license in his possession.

      Las Vegas Municipal Court Judge Susan Roger dismissed two other infractions and the warrants dating from November 2008 that led to Knight's arrest Feb. 8.

      It wasn't Knight's first arrest in Las Vegas. His criminal history in Las Vegas includes, among others: a 2008 arrest for battery domestic violence, possession of dangerous drugs without a prescription, possession of a controlled substance and assault with a deadly weapon; a 1990 arrest for battery with a deadly weapon; and a 1993 arrest assault with a deadly weapon.

      Knight, co-founded Death Row Records in 1982 with Andre Young, better known as Dr. Dre. The label has produced such rap stars as Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.

    • As a child, actress Dana Plato appeared on the television sitcom "Diff'rent Stroke."

      Dana Plato

      Dana Plato, a child star on the sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes,” had two brushes with the law in Las Vegas during her troubled young adult days.

      In February 1991, police arrested Plato for a video store robbery evidently fueled by her alcohol consumption that day. A judge sentenced a tearful Plato, who had pleaded guilty, to five years probation in August 1991 as the former actress clutched rosary beads in the courtroom.

      Five months later, she had another run-in with the law when police arrested her in connection with illegal prescription charges. Police said she used forged prescriptions to get 200 Valium pills at a Las Vegas pharmacy. She avoided jail time again when a judge sentenced her in June 1992 to five years probation.

      In May 1999, Plato died of an accidental drug overdose in Oklahoma. She was 34.

    • Coolio at Chateau inside Paris on March 18, 2011.


      Misdemeanor domestic battery charges against rapper Coolio, best known for his 1995 chart-topping and Grammy Award-winning hit, “Gangsta’s Paradise,” were dropped in September 2013.

      Coolio, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr., 49, had been accused of punching a girlfriend of three years in the face during an argument April 1 at their Spring Valley home.

      In a statement issued after dropping charges, the Clark County District Attorney's Office said, "Prosecutors determined that they could not prove Mr. Ivey's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and moved to dismiss the case at today's hearing. This was based upon further investigation and discussion with the victim, who gave conflicting reports of the incident, and independent witnesses who were present at the time and indicated that the victim was the primary aggressor in the incident."

      Coolio acknowledged the argument and physical altercation took place, but he denied he struck the woman. He told police he was the victim.

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