Randy Quaid, wife arrested in Canada

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VANCOUVER (AP) - Actor Randy Quaid and his wife told Canada’s immigration board Friday they are seeking refuge in Canada because they are being persecuted in the U.S., after they were arrested on U.S. warrants related to vandalism charges.

The pair were arrested on Thursday afternoon in a shopping area of an affluent Vancouver neighborhood.

The Quaids are wanted in Santa Barbara, where they missed a court hearing Monday on felony vandalism charges.

Santa Barbara County Senior Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter said Friday that Quaid and his wife Evi’s bail increased to $500,000 apiece.

Their attorney, Robert Sanger, said he hoped the situation could be resolved but declined comment citing the pending case.

Evi Quaid begged a Canadian immigration adjudicator not to force them to return, saying on Friday that too many of her husband’s actor friends have died under mysterious circumstances and she’s worried something will happen to him next.

Evi Quaid said she’s been told by a jail nurse that her blood pressure is dangerously high due to stress and that Randy Quaid’s mother has been hospitalized in the U.S. as a result of the stress from their legal troubles.

The Quaids said they came to Canada for legitimate reasons and had no intention of skipping out on a warrant issued for their arrest in the United States.

A U.S. judge issued arrest warrants Monday for the couple after they failed to show up at a California court hearing stemming from their arrests last month on suspicion of illegally squatting at a home.

Quaid and his wife face felony vandalism charges after more than $5,000 in damage was found in a guest house of a Montecito, California home they had previously owned.

They face no charges in Canada. The Canadian immigration adjudicator must decide whether the couple should remain in custody until their next hearing, scheduled for Tuesday.

The Quaids frequently missed court appearances in an earlier U.S. case involving charges they defrauded an innkeeper. That case was resolved in April with Evi Quaid pleading no contest to a misdemeanor. The charges against her husband were dropped.

Randy Quaid, 60, is best-known for supporting roles in films such as “Independence Day” and “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” He is the older brother of Dennis Quaid.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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