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'Scandal's' Columbus Short Arrested for Felony Battery

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on March 27, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

"Scandal" actor Columbus Short, best known as Harrison Wright on the hit ABC show, has been arrested on a felony battery charge.

The 31-year-old actor allegedly punched and knocked out a guest at a restaurant in West Los Angeles on March 15, Reuters reports.


Why Felony Battery?

News reports don't shed any light on why Short was charged with felony battery. Simple criminal battery is most often prosecuted as a misdemeanor; repeat offenses or the specific nature of the offense may warrant more severe treatment.

For example, in some states, a second or third offense against the same individual can be charged as a felony. In cases of domestic violence, many states do not permit battery charges to be dropped against the defendant -- not even at the request of the victim, because of the potential for repeat or escalated harm.

In Columbus Short's case, perhaps the nature of the alleged battery was what did him in. If he caused pretty serious injury to the recipient of his alleged punch, that could be enough to trigger a felony charge. If convicted, Short could face up to four years in state prison.

Released on Bail

Short was booked by the Claremont Police Department and released on $50,000 bail, Reuters reports. In many cases, bail amounts are predetermined through "bail schedules."

Unfortunately for Short, the felony bail schedule in Los Angeles County is pretty steep, charging $50,000 bail for felony battery involving serious bodily injury. Fortunately for Short, he's a well-paid actor and was likely able to foot the bill with ease.

The next stop for Short is to appear before a judge to be arraigned and enter his plea. Meantime, he and Olivia Pope his criminal defense attorney will want to strategize and explore potential battery defenses. Maybe they should channel their inner-Harrison Wright to tap into their powers of persuasion and smooth talk their way out of the charge.

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