- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 17, 2008

Caruso stalker on lam

Austrian authorities yesterday searched for a woman who failed to appear for the start of her trial on charges of stalking and threatening to kill “CSI: Miami” star David Caruso, Associated Press reports.

Prosecutors say she sent more than 100 letters to Mr. Caruso and pursued the actor for an autograph. They also said Mr. Caruso received death threats after refusing to give her the autograph. A 2007 letter containing the threat bore a Miami postmark and showed up in Mr. Caruso’s fan mail, Austrian authorities said. It reportedly read in part: “I will locate you and your ugly Latina tramp and kill you.”

Mr. Caruso, 52, plays Miami police Lt. Horatio Caine. It was unclear whether the Latina reference alluded to actress Alana De La Garza, who played Mr. Caruso’s TV wife until her character was gunned down by drug dealers.

Sins of the father

Frank Lucas Jr., son of the drug kingpin immortalized in the film “American Gangster” and played by Denzel Washington, says he’s preparing to sue New York City for $25 million over what he contends was a bogus arrest, use of excessive force and harassment by cops on Staten Island last month, the New York Daily News says.

The younger Mr. Lucas’ charge, however — misdemeanor possession of marijuana in the fifth degree — is Little League stuff compared to Frank Lucas Sr.’s 1960s and ‘70s reign as a Harlem godfather who cornered the drug trade by cutting out the Mafia and paying off crooked cops.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m definitely not proud of a lot of things [my father] did to rise out of his circumstances,” said Frank Lucas Jr., 38, an aspiring hip-hop artist.

His father’s notoriety may have escalated tensions during a March 28 confrontation with plainclothes cops. High-powered lawyer Salvatore Strazzullo contends Mr. Lucas initially was a victim of racial profiling because he was stopped while in an auto driven by his manager, Gene Ragusa, who is white. After police recognized Mr. Lucas’ name, they reportedly peppered him with insults.

“He’s been tainted by his father’s mistakes,” Mr. Strazzullo said. “The whole time they’re saying, ‘Look who’s here, the ‘American Gangster.’ ”


• Toni Braxton won’t return to the Flamingo’s stage on the Las Vegas Strip until at least next month while she has more medical tests for chest pain. Ironically, the Grammy winner, 40, is best-known for the song “Un-break My Heart,” the Philadelphia Daily News notes.

• French film star Gerard Depardieu yesterday was fined $1,275 by an Italian court after being found guilty of head-butting a photographer, Agence France-Presse reports. The Oscar-nominated star of the 1990 French literary swashbuckler “Cyrano de Bergerac” was ordered to pay the fine for “injuries and threats against Dario Orlandi” in 2005.

• According to AP, police are seeking a misdemeanor child-endangerment charge against Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora following his drunken-driving arrest in Laguna Beach, Calif., last month. The musician, 48, was stopped after a police officer saw Mr. Sambora’s black Hummer weaving in traffic. Authorities haven’t released the names of a woman and two girls who were passengers in Mr. Sambora’s car.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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