Kiefer Sutherland charged with assault in NY

NEW YORK Fri May 8, 2009 2:35pm EDT

1 of 4. Actor Kiefer Sutherland (R) departs the New York Police Department's 1st precinct in New York May 7, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Thayer

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actor Kiefer Sutherland turned himself into police on Thursday and was arrested and charged with assault for headbutting another man at a swank party in New York City.

The star of the hit television show "24" was questioned by police at a station in the Manhattan neighborhood of Soho and faces a minor assault charge, according to a police spokeswoman.

Sutherland is accused of assaulting fashion designer Jack McCollough at a party Monday night after an annual costume gala held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, according to police and several media outlets who identified McCollough.

Police said the assault took place at 2 a.m. at an exclusive bar below The Mercer Hotel, when McCollough stepped in between Sutherland and another woman, identified by media outlets as actress Brooke Shields.

Sutherland became irate when the designer bumped into Shields and got into an argument before headbutting him in the face, according to local media reports.

McCollough, co-founder of women's wear fashion label Proenza Schouler, reported the incident to police the next day and has been photographed with a cut on his nose.

Sutherland was not jailed and left the police station without commenting to reporters. He may appear in court within the next few weeks.

A representative for the actor did not return a call for comment.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office had no comment.

A criminal charge, even a minor one, could have dire consequences for the 42-year-old British-born Canadian actor, who plays tough-minded special agent Jack Bauer on the TV thriller "24" and is the son of actor Donald Sutherland.

He served 48 days in jail after being arrested in 2007 for drunken driving in Los Angeles and is serving five years probation in connection with the incident. At the time of that arrest, Sutherland was on probation for a prior drunk driving violation.

Los Angeles officials have said they will decide if Sutherland violated his probation due to his arrest in New York.

(Additional reporting by Edith Honan in New York, Editing by Sandra Maler and Paul Simao)