By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times –
LOS ANGELES — Actress Lindsay Lohan was back in the spotlight Wednesday following her arrest outside a New York nightspot on suspicion of leaving the scene of an accident after a chef claimed her SUV clipped him, police said.
The arrest was a setback for the 26-year-old actress best known for movies such as “Freaky Friday” and “Mean Girls. After several years of arrests and short jail terms, Lohan in recent months had gotten back to making movies. Lohan, however, remains on probation for shoplifting a necklace in 2011 in Los Angeles. Any prosecution in New York could potentially affect her L.A. case.
Los Angeles city prosecutors said that leaving the scene of an accident could be considered a violation of her probation and could result in potentially more jail time or community service. But officials said that any action would be taken only if they received an official report from New York authorities.
Lohan’s publicist, Steve Honig, dismissed the latest furor.
“While some of the facts are still being gathered, it appears that this is much ado about nothing,” Honig said. “We are confident this matter will be cleared up in the coming weeks and the claims being made against Lindsay will be proven untrue.”
New York police said Lohan was arrested at 2:25 a.m. Wednesday as she left a luxury Manhattan hotel. About two hours before that, she had been driving a black Porsche Cayenne SUV down an alley near the hotel when she allegedly hit a 34-year-old pedestrian.
She did not stop and entered the hotel, but one of her two male passengers allegedly spoke to the man, who complained that the slow-speed vehicle had struck his knee, police said. Lohan was arrested when she returned to her car, given a ticket at a local NYPD precinct and released.
Police said investigators do not believe that Lohan was intoxicated but acknowledged that no breathlyzer test was performed. A source familiar with the investigation said security video was inconclusive in confirming the man’s allegation. Nonetheless, in an interview with the New York Daily News, chef Jose Rodriguez, who identified himself as the victim, said the SUV “hit me.”