Lindsay Lohan’s arrest this week in New York might be one of the few times the former Disney child star is actually innocent. The release of video footage related to the allegations did little to prove Lohan is actually guilty of hitting a pedestrian and then fleeing from the scene.
The New York Police Department released the tape Thursday. The security tape blurs out the identities of pedestrians on the street as Lohan drives by, so it is hard to make out what’s going on. One pedestrian is seen following Lohan’s car as it moves out of view, but it’s unclear who that person is.
The portion of the video shows Lohan driving up a ramp near an alley in the Chelsea neighborhood.
Lohan tweeted Thursday evening: “No more ramps.”
Sources familiar with the case say the security video should aid in her defense, because even if she grazed a person, the contact was so minor that she would not have been aware of it. Lohan was arrested on suspicion of leaving an accident scene.
If the tape had shown that the pedestrian was noticeably hit and harmed, a judge could have determined that Lohan was in violation of her probation. However, it appears that it’s a case of “no harm no foul.”
Police say Lohan allegedly clipped a pedestrian and fled. But Lohan’s spokesman said the incident has been blown out of proportion and that the actress did not commit a crime.
“While some of the facts are still being gathered, it appears that this is much ado about nothing,” Lohan publicist Steve 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.”
Los Angeles city prosecutors said that if she did leave the scene of an accident, an L.A. judge could determine it was a violation of her probation terms, which could mean potentially more jail time or community service.
The 26-year-old “Mean Girls” star, who has numerous arrests and short jail stays, is already on probation for shoplifting a necklace in Los Angeles and is required to obey all laws.
Lohan was arrested at 2:25 a.m. Wednesday as she left the Dream Hotel, a 315-room luxury Manhattan hotel with a nightclub.
About two hours before, she was driving a black Porsche Cayenne SUV down an alley between the hotel and an adjacent hotel when she allegedly hit a 34-year-old pedestrian. She did not stop and entered the hotel, but one of two male passengers spoke to the man, who complained the slow-speed vehicle hit his knee, police said.
The victim, police said, called authorities and was treated at a hospital. When Lohan returned, she was arrested and given a citation ordering her to appear in court at a later date; she was then released.
Police said investigators do not believe Lohan was intoxicated but acknowledged no tests were performed.
A source familiar with the investigation said security video did not confirm whether Lohan’s SUV clipped the man.
In interviews with the New York Daily News, chef Jose Rodriguez, who identified himself as the victim, said her car “hit me.” He said when Lohan emerged from the Porsche and he asked, “Why did you do that?” she said, “You have to get out of the way.”
The incident is the latest in a series of brushes with the law for Lohan, who has been trying to put her much-chronicled legal troubles behind her and resume her acting career with the TV movie “Liz and Dick.”
She was first placed on probation for a 2007 conviction for driving under the influence and subsequently in the 2011 conviction of shoplifting a necklace from a Venice jeweler. During five years on probation, she was repeatedly sent to jail for violating the terms.
But under the watchful eyes of Judge Stephanie Sautner, a tough ex-NYPD detective, Lohan this year completed a strict regimen of counseling and community service at the county morgue. In March, the judge ended her probation in the DUI case and reduced the shoplifting probation to “unsupervised” status but warned her to “obey all laws.”
Dmitry Gorin, a veteran defense attorney and former prosecutor, said if the New York allegation proves true, it could result in jail time in Los Angeles beyond what happens in New York.
“Any violation of the law would cause a probation violation,” he said.
Just last month, Los Angeles Police Department detectives closed the case of an alleged theft by Lohan at a Hollywood Hills home after prosecutors declined to file charges. LAPD detectives had identified Lohan, as well as Gavin Lawrence Doyle and Andrew Nicholas Payan, as persons of interest in the case.
Lohan has been trying to put her much-chronicled legal troubles behind her and resume her acting career with the TV movie “Liz and Dick.”