No. I Did Not Hit a Paparazzo with my Hockey Stick.

Friends:  You may have read some stuff about me on the internet or newspapers this week and you're probably wondering what the hell happened on Sunday.  Like:  Did I actually assault somebody, as many blogs and tabloids have reported?  

The first and most important thing is that I didn't attack anyone and I certainly DID NOT HIT ANYONE IN THE HEAD WITH MY HOCKEY STICK. That's something I would simply never do, and it's what the paparazzi made up to make their story more juicy. That's how they make their money. Which is one thing if they just lie about you in a blog, but another thing if the cops choose to believe them.  Because then it goes into the police report. Which it did. And now I'm facing felony assault charges, and that's why I spent most of Sunday night in jail.

So, it's like this: I was walking home from our street hockey game with my friends Mike Myers and Eric Gilliland. We crossed paths with a bunch of paparazzi who were pursuing Kate Hudson and her newborn.  One of them saw Mike, alerted the others, and they came after us. I should note that there were 7 or 8 of them and extraordinarily aggressive. We've been through this dozens of times: Their M.O. is to try to annoy Mike to the point that he'll take a swing at them or whatever and then they'll sell the "celebrity freaking out" pics to the tabloids.

So eventually Mike tries to run away. Now they're chasing us. It's seems kind of funny, I bet, but really it's sort of scary because they'll shove you out of the way and scream in your face... and there's a lot of them. I decided to try to slow them down to give Mike a chance to get away. So I ran across Rivington (near Eldridge) and let's say "impeded the progress" of this guy Castro. I bumped into him. Now he's pissed. He puts down his camera and comes at me, grabbing my hockey stick. As we're tussling with my stick, he yanks it toward himself, trying to get it away from me. Very unfortunately, this caused the blade to scrape his eyebrow.  Eyebrows bleed A LOT.  

Once the other paparazzi saw blood... well, now they've got a story. So they get a firm grip on me and start filming. While two of them had my arms, Castro headbutts me in the face, Zidane style.  Good shot, too.  Probably broke my nose, I get the X-rays tomorrow. Of course, all my instincts were telling me to fight back, but I was also aware that that was exactly what they wanted. The cameras were rolling. Then he punched me in the head. Got a nice little shiner there. And three other guys dragged me into the street, holding me so I "wouldn't go anywhere" because they had called the police.  "Thank God," I thought. "The police sound great right about now."

Except when the police got there (maybe 10-12 of 'em) the paparazzi start pointing at the bloody guy and screaming that I hit him in the head with my stick. Eric and I calmly offered that that wasn't true, etc, that I had yet to take a swing at anybody with anything... but they simply (and really, inexplicably) took the paparazzi at their word. Castro walked away laughing. They cuffed me, put me in the squad car, and took me to the cell at the precinct. Fingerprints, booking, mugshots, belt, shoelaces, then down to the Center Street to the real jail, one metal door, two metal doors, underground, more metal doors, and put me in the cell with several other fellows. The only smart thing I did all day was to immediately befriend the biggest guy in there by offering him my torn hoodie (it's freezing down there).  

I had plenty of time to reflect on my thoughts about our legal system, the NYPD, and my aching face.  

In conclusion, it's pretty weird that a guy with no criminal record can get beat up by several other guys of nefarious intention, resist the urge to throw a punch, then get thrown in jail and charged with a felony while aggressors walk away. That's weird, right? If the legal system kicks in at some point, I probably won't have to serve time. I have a very good lawyer and there might even be video proving my innocence. At my arraignment, the judge seemed to smell bullshit and let me out on my own recognizance (he didn't even make us post bail). But still. Really?

Your Hot-Tempered but Non-Violent Friend,