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Torn Still Tearing it Up: Arrested for Burglary at 78

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on February 12, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Once a bad boy, always a... well, the acts speak for themselves in this case. Actor Rip Torn, known and loved for his eccentricity in the New England town of Salisbury, Conn., took his bad boy image a few steps too far and wound up in court last week. A well known character actor and apparently, a well known character around town, Torn had a reputation for hittn' the bars hard. That lead to an incident that Rip's reps explain was actually a case of mistaken identity.

According to a report in The Seattle Times, in his charming little town, Rip owns a classic New England clapboard house. Around the corner is a bank, also located in a classic New England clapboard house. Rip came home on the evening of January 29, only to find that his key did not work. So, like any tired homeowner he went around back, broke a window, let himself in and placed his boots and hat in a neat pile by the door. Unfortunately, he let himself into the bank, not his house.

The police, even in a charming old-fashioned town, do not take such actions lightly. According to The Times, responding to the alarm, the state troopers arrived to a find Torn "walking within the premise [sic]" of the bank. Appropriately enough, the state police doubted Torn's sobriety, tested him and found his blood alcohol content allegedly to be over 2 1/2 times the legal limit. Oh, and he was carrying a loaded .22 revolver. Torn was arrested for burglary, criminal mischief, carrying a firearm while intoxicated, trespassing and possession of a firearm without a permit. As everyone who has seen the tabs knows, Torn spent that weekend in a jail cell in Canaan, Connecticut.

The Times reports that this is not the first time Mr. Torn has tangled with the law regarding his alleged state of sobriety. Rip was pulled over and administered a field sobriety test after being spotted careening down the breakdown lane of Route 44 with a large tree on the roof of his car during 2008 holiday season. He later challenged the results of that test because the ground was uneven. The year before saw a guilty plea from Torn on the charge of driving while impaired.

Rip made his $100,000 bail and is required to be evaluated for substance abuse as a condition of his release. Torn's lawyer, A. Thomas Waterfall, told the judge his client needs help with his alcohol abuse and that he can start treatment right away. Torn is due back in court on February 17. 

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