13 Biggest Celebrity Arrests in Phoenix History

13 Biggest Celebrity Arrests in Phoenix HistoryEXPAND
Brian A Jackson (Shutterstock)

There’s no shortage of celebrities in metro Phoenix, whether they're the rich and famous who reside in our pricier locales (read: Scottsdale and Paradise Valley) or Hollywood stars paying visits to our parts as tourists.

And every once in awhile, these swells run afoul of the law and find themselves behind bars or in local cop custody. Here are the 13 biggest star arrests in Valley of the Sun history:

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Mug shot: Scottsdale PD/Background: Risto Viita (Shutterstock)

13) Jason London

The 2013 arrest of Jason London for assault and disorderly conduct at a Scottsdale bar was a major shit show, both figuratively and literally. The Dazed and Confused actor reportedly punched out another patron, tussled with security and first responders, and taunted cops (including declaring “I’m rich, and I’m a motherfucking famous actor! Fucking look me up, bitch!"), before intentionally soiling himself in a squad car. It was London’s best performance ever! 

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Mug shot: Scottsdale PD/Background: Risto Viita (Shutterstock)

12) Mark Grace

Getting popped for DUI is a costly and embarrassing offense, especially if you're a well-known face. Just ask former Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Mark Grace, who not only lost his job as the broadcast color analyst for the team after getting caught driving drunk twice in the span of 15 months but also wound up doing four months in Tent City. Suffice it to say, it was more embarrassing than the time Grace dropped a few F-bombs on live TV during a game. 

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Mug shot: MCSO/Background: Risto Viita (Shutterstock)

11) Warren Sapp

The infamous last-second interception thrown by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson wasn’t the only grievous error by a football legend during Super Bowl week here last February. NFL Hall of Famer Warren Sapp, for instance, got busted by Phoenix cops for solicitation and assault after paying two strippers for sex and later forcibly throwing them out of his hotel room. Sapp was axed as an analyst for the NFL Network for his trouble. And his plea deal with local prosecutors was nixed when he got arrested in Las Vegas a few months later for alleged domestic violence. 

10) Danny Bonaduce

Former Partridge Family member and human trainwreck Danny Bonaduce made headlines in 1991 after beating up a local transvestite prostitute. According to Bonaduce, a Phoenix radio DJ at the time, he picked up who he thought was a female streetwalker while drunkenly cruising for sex in his hot rod. When the transvestite wouldn’t return his $40, Bonaduce assaulted her and later was arrested.

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Mug shot: Gilbert PD/Background: Risto Viita (Shutterstock)

9) Donovan McNabb

This retired NFL quarterback, who spent a decade with the Philadelphia Eagles and now is a part-time Chandler resident, was McNabbed for alleged DUI by local cops twice in an 18-month span, including getting collared by the Gilbert PD last July after rear-ending another car. McNabb reportedly told police at the time of the latter arrest that he’d been taking cough syrup, but just like hard-ass NFL referees, they didn't buy it.  

8) Richard Simmons

The flamboyantly goofy fitness guru seems about the furthest thing from rough and tough as they come. Yet he had enough chutzpah to bitch-slap a 6-foot-1 Harley Davidson salesman and MMA fighter from Mesa who taunted him about Sweatin’ to the Oldies when the two crossed paths at Sky Harbor International Airport in 2004. Phoenix police cited Simmons for misdemeanor assault, but charges later were dropped.

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Mug shot: MCSO/Background: Risto Viita (Shutterstock)

7, 6) Tommy Lee & Nikki Sixx

When Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx played Talking Stick Resort Arena last month, the night ended far better than when the heavy metal legends played the same building 18 years before. In 1997, the rockers were arrested for misdemeanor assault for allegedly beating up a security guard trying to keep order after the band invited its fans to rush the stage during a show at what was then America West Arena.

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Mug shot: MCSO/Background: Risto Viita (Shutterstock)

5) Mike Tyson

Despite his notorious history of violent outbursts, “Iron Mike” went rather quietly when Scottsdale police nailed the former boxing champ and Valley resident for cocaine possession and DUI after leaving a nightclub in 2006. No punches were thrown. Nor were any ears bitten. Nor were any threats made to eat any cop's children. It was a far cry from a previous arrest two years earlier, when Tyson caused $1,500 in damage to a car during a meltdown outside of the old Pussycat Lounge in Scottsdale.

4) Charles Barkley

Sir Charles is famous for his big mouth. In fact, the NBA on TNT analyst and former Phoenix Suns star’s outspoken nature, quick wit, and humorous quips are reasons he’s a beloved sports icon. True to form, Barkley even had a few memorable soundbites during his DUI arrest in 2008, telling a Gilbert cop who pulled him over for running a stop sign that he was “gonna drive around the corner and get a blow job.” Later at the station, Big Chuck also offered to tattoo a department employee’s name on his ass if he could avoid getting charged. Like Barkley once famously declared, he ain’t no role mode!

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Mug shot: MCSO/Background: Risto Viita (Shutterstock)

3) Glenn Campbell

The Rhinestone Cowboy’s 2003 arrest for extreme DUI is notable not only because of the music legend’s star status but for the preferential treatment it got him behind bars from Sheriff Joe Arpaio. As we reported at the time, Campbell served his 10-day sentence in relative comfort in a climate-controlled private cell at the Maricopa County Southeast Jail Facility in Mesa (a.k.a. the “Mesa Hilton”) instead of brutal Tent City. In return, the crooner performed a concert at Tent City on his final day in custody. And to the surprise of no one, Arpaio was there to turn it into a major publicity stunt.

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Mug shot: MCSO/Background: Risto Viita (Shutterstock)

2) DMX

Embattled hip-hop superstar DMX (a.k.a. Earl Simmons) boasts a rap sheet a mile long, and it includes a slew of arrests here. (In fact, we even devoted a cover story in 2011 to his troubled history.) During a six-year stint living in Cave Creek, the rapper was collared eight different times, frequently by the MCSO, on such charges as animal cruelty, drug possession, reckless driving, criminal speeding, and probation violation. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he not only told his fans in 2009 to "stay the fuck out of Arizona" but also declared, "Fuck Sheriff Joe!"

1) Jim Morrison

The late frontman for The Doors had a thing for getting wasted and raising hell. And when the legendary Lizard King did so while flying to Phoenix in 1969 to check out a Rolling Stones show at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, his drunken antics (including harassing flight attendants) resulted in FBI agents waiting at Sky Harbor to arrest him. We’re guessing he didn’t make the concert that night, much less party afterward with Mick and Keith.


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