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'Silicon Valley' Actor Arrested For Allegedly Slapping Uber Driver Over Trump
Silicon Valley actor T.J. Miller was arrested early Friday morning for allegedly slapping an Uber driver over his opinions regarding President-elect Donald Trump.According to TMZ, Miller had been picked up from the GQ Men of the Year party at the Chateau Marmont early this morning. The driver claimed the two got into an argument about Donald Trump, and that Miller slapped him upside the head once they arrived at Miller’s destination. The driver then called the police and Miller was arrested.
TMZ’s sources say that the driver had no visible injuries, and that Miller seemed like he’d been drinking. Miller's Twitter feed indicates he is not a Trump fan.
The LAPD confirms that a Todd Joseph Miller was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor battery at about 1 a.m. this morning in the 6900 block of Camrose Drive, near Hollywood. Though the LAPD would not specify if the caller drove specifically for Uber, they did confirm that the caller drove for a car company. The driver asked for a private person's arrest, otherwise known as a citizen's arrest. After conducting an investigation, officers arrested Miller. His bail was set at $20,000, and he has since been released on his own personal recognizance. Officers could not confirm if the alleged altercation was indeed over Donald Trump, or if anyone else—including Miller's wife, Kate Gorney, who appeared with him in photos from the GQ event—was present at the time of the incident.
LAPD Officer Drake Madison explained exactly what a citizen's arrest entails. Essentially, if someone commits a misdemeanor without an officer around to see it, a citizen may choose to call the police and request an arrest. If officers determine that the alleged event did likely occur, the victim can choose to either let it go or fill out the paperwork to make an arrest. That paperwork includes a form that states that the citizen is placing the other party under arrest. However, the citizen alone then takes on the burden of going to court and explaining what happened. The officers only assist in the arrest.
"If it's a misdemeanor that's committed out of our presence, but through our investigation, we are able to determine that the crime did actually happen and the person that was battered wants to place that person under PPA, we will take that arrest and book them and give them a promise to appear [in court]," Madison said. "But everything that goes through the court has to go through the person that arrested [the suspect]. All we are doing is accepting the arrest. You, the citizen, are the one putting this person under arrest."
A citizen's arrest only works if the alleged crime is a misdemeanor. A felony that occurs outside of an officer's presence will still be handled by officers. In this particular case, because Miller allegedly slapped the driver as opposed to, say, smacking him in the head with a brick, it's misdemeanor battery and therefore eligible for a citizen's arrest.
In some instances, a citizen might decide that the misdemeanor isn't worth the hassle. Madison gave the example of a citizen who calls police because they catch an individual stealing a low-value item from their front porch. The citizen may choose to warn the alleged thief not to return, but may determine that the arrest is too much work.
"There are a lot of lesser crimes out there," Madison said. "If you want to [proceed with a citizen's arrest], that's on you. You might say, 'nah, never mind.'"
If the fight was over politics, Miller would be the third Silicon Valley actor to get into it with a stranger over the President-elect. Actors Kumail Nanjiani and Thomas Middleditch said they were called "cucks"—the preferred insult of the alt-right— by some Trump supporters at a bar in Silver Lake.
In a photo taken of Miller and his wife at the GQ event, Miller sports a bloody ear punctured with a safety pin. However, it doesn't seem as though it was a real wound, as Miller appeared with the same injured ear on Conan to promote the film Office Christmas Party, which opened earlier this week.