Woody Harrelson punched a persistent fan during an incident at the infamous Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, when the man took unsolicited photos of the Cheers star and refused to delete them, eyewitnesses say.
The actor struck the man – who has yet to be identified – while out with his daughter at the hotel’s posh rooftop bar, Top of the Gate, at around 11 pm.
Police say charges are pending for the man, after he was questioned in his hotel room that night by investigators after fleeing the scene of the altercation – and he will faces charges.
However, Harrelson was not charged in the incident – as investigators say he acted ‘in self-defense.’
Harrelson and his wife of 13 years, Laura Louie, had been spotted just hours before the altercation just over a mile from the Watergate Hotel, where the incident took place, as the pair headed to the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Wednesday
The couple was spotted on a rare outing hours before the actor punched the persistent fan, who will faces charges
Harrelson, pictured outside the Watergate on Tuesday, has been in Washington shooting an HBO series that follows the Nixon administration’s notorious Watergate scandal
Harrelson, pictured here filming outside the Watergate earlier this week, punched the man after he lunged at the star while he was out with one of his daughters Wednesday night
According to police, the man – who police say had been drinking and has yet to be identified – lunged at Harrelson after the actor approached him and asked him to delete a slew of photographs he had taken of him and his daughter.
Harrelson ‘approached the man and requested him to delete the photos,’ Dustin Sternbeck, director of communications at the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, said in a statement after the incident, which occurred minutes after 11 pm Wednesday night.
Harrelson then ‘got into a verbal dispute with’ the man, who allegedly ‘lunged toward’ the actor to try to grab his neck, a public incident report filed after the late-night altercation reads.
Harrelson then preemptively punched the man before he could land his own blow, according to eyewitness accounts and the police report.
The man then fled from the star to his hotel room.
Harrelson, however, was not charged in the incident, as investigators say the star was acting in ‘self defense’
The actor pictured filming outside the Watergate Tuesday with co-star Justin Theroux, the day before he was allegedly attacked
Upon police’s arrival on the scene shortly thereafter, Harrelson told them that he punched the man in self-defense – and several witnesses reportedly corroborated the star’s story, the report reveals.
Harrelson was questioned by police, but was not charged with any crime.
According to the incident report, officers made the determination that the actor was, indeed, engaging in ‘self defense.’
The actor has been in Washington shooting an HBO series on the Nixon administration’s notorious Watergate scandal, and the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the famed hotel.
Harrelson and his wife of 13 years, Laura Louie, had been spotted just hours before the incident, a little over a mile from where the altercation took place, as the pair headed to the National Museum of African American History and Culture during downtime from filming.
Harrelson, 60, announced in 2017 that he had given up marijuana after decades of ‘partying too hard,’ and says he only drinks in moderation
Harrelson, 60, is a father of three daughters, aged 28, 25, and 15.
It is not immediately clear which daughter Harrelson was having dinner with when the altercation in question occurred.
Police say charges are pending for the man, who was questioned in his hotel room after the altercation – but, according to the report, investigators believe Harrelson acted ‘in self-defense.’
Harrelson, 60, was not charged in the incident – which occurred around 11 pm.
The name of the other man involved in the altercation will be released once he is charged, DC police say.
Harrelson, however, boasts a somewhat checkered history when it comes to run-ins with the law.
The incident between Harrelson and the unidentified man took place at the Top of the Gate rooftop bar at the famed Watergate Hotel
In 2017, he admitted had given up smoking marijuana after decades of what he called ‘partying too hard,’ but said that he still drinks occasionally, ‘in moderation.’
In 2008, TMZ photographer Josh Levine filed a suit against the actor for an alleged attack outside a Hollywood nightclub in 2006, where a video of the incident appeared to show Harrelson grabbing Levine’s camera and subsequently scuffling with the photographer.
Los Angeles prosecutors declined to press charges against the star, and the case was dismissed two years later.
In 2002, the star was arrested in London for allegedly causing ‘criminal damage to a black taxi in the Waterloo Place area and then fleeing the vehicle,’ a Scotland Yard spokesman said.
He was then tracked down by police and arrested, before being bailed out that day.
In 1982, Harrelson was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in Columbus, Ohio, after being picked up by police for dancing in traffic, and escaping a police van.
He then got into a physical altercation with the officer who chased him down.
Harrelson paid a $390 fine in regards to the incident – and did no jail time.
Harrelson’s father, however, Charles Harrelson, had a much more violent streak – he was a career criminal and hitman-for-hire who was convicted of first-degree murder not once, but twice, for a pair of full-fledged assassinations committed in the span of a little over ten years – and was charged and acquitted of another murder during that stretch as well.
He died in 2007 at age 69, serving two consecutive sentences in a maximum security federal prison in Colorado.
Concerning the Wednesday altercation with Woody, however, it was not immediately clear who called police to the scene – and the Metropolitan Police Department say that an investigation is still ongoing.