Airport police: Fox's Gregg Jarrett was in Minnesota for rehab

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 23, 2014 - 1:46 PM

Fox News anchorman may have mixed alcohol, narcotic before his arrest.

Fox News Channel anchor Gregg Jarrett, on indefinite leave addressing “serious personal issues,” has been charged with a misdemeanor after his arrest in a Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport bar, where he was “acting very intoxicated” while physically resisting authorities.

Jarrett, 59, was arrested about 12:40 p.m. Wednesday at Northern Lights Grill in the main terminal and charged in Hennepin County District Court with a misdemeanor obstructing the legal process and interfering with a police officer.

The weekend co-anchor was in Minnesota for alcohol or chemical dependency treatment, according to a detailed police accounting of the incident.

A bar employee called police to say Jarrett “appeared to be acting very intoxicated,” possibly from mixing alcohol with a narcotic, according to an airport police report released Thursday. Responding officers found Jarrett to be “uncooperative, resistant and combative” during his arrest, the report added.

Jarrett, who lives in the New York City suburb of Larchmont, posted $300 bond and was released from custody shortly after 1:30 a.m. Thursday, according to jail records. His jail mug shot shows him with a full salt-and-pepper beard, unlike the typically close-shaven appearance that his viewers see.

Jarrett has not responded to telephone and e-mail messages seeking comment about his arrest. His arraignment is scheduled for June 6 in an Edina courtroom.

A network spokeswoman said in a statement from Fox’s New York headquarters that Jarrett “is dealing with serious personal issues” and has been on indefinite leave since mid-April. It was about then that Jarrett appeared on the air, slurring at times and speaking in a halting manner while leading a panel interview.

According to the police incident report:

A grill employee told police she served Jarrett one drink and he appeared “very intoxicated” when she soon returned to check on him.

An officer approached Jarrett, and a man speaking with the newsman mentioned that Jarrett had taken some medication.

The officer tapped Jarrett on the shoulder a few times but failed to hold his attention. Jarrett did say he had not taken any medication recently.

“He was very unsteady,” the report continued, “appeared to be in a fog” and had difficulty answering questions about his medication or his drinking.

At that point, the officer directed Jarrett to stand up so he could be arrested for a detox/crisis hold.

As the officer walked away from the grill with Jarrett, he acknowledged having been drinking since 9 a.m., specifically vodka.

The officer found in Jarrett’s jacket pocket three pills of Gabapentin, a painkiller that should not be mixed with alcohol. Its side effects include drowsiness, delusions and confusion.

Once in an airport holding cell, police found documentation in Jarrett’s bag that he had just been released from an alcohol and chemical dependency treatment facility.

As fire department personnel began evaluating his medical condition, an increasingly agitated Jarrett swore at the arresting officer.

The officer was about to put Jarrett back in handcuffs, but the news anchor grabbed the officer’s arm. Struggling to get Jarrett cuffed, other officers helped subdue the inmate, who was then driven to jail in downtown Minneapolis.

Jarrett, who earned a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has specialized in legal affairs reporting during much of his career. He recently covered the murder trial of George Zimmerman and the crash of Asiana Flight 214 at the San Francisco Airport. He has been with Fox since 2002, coming over from MSNBC.

 

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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