A woman has told police that a discussion about politics upset ‘The Wire’ star Wendell Pierce so much that he followed a group to their hotel room, tried to force his way inside, hit her in the head and ripped the hood off her jacket.
But Pierce, known for his TV roles as Detective William ‘Bunk’ Moreland in The Wire and Antoine Batiste in Treme, gave officers a different version of the fracas at the Loews Atlanta Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday morning.
The actor admitted following the group to the room after the political discussion, but said he was standing outside when the woman and two of her friends tried to pull him inside as he tried to get away.
Pierce, 52, was charged with simple battery and released on US$1,000 bail, Fulton County Jail records show.
No charges were filed against the woman and her two friends.
“I regret that what started as a civil political discussion escalated to the level that it did,” Pierce said in a statement.
“Although what has been reported thus far differs in important respects from what actually occurred, I have confidence that the judicial process will work as it should.”
The woman and two witnesses listed in the police report did not immediately respond to phone messages.
The police report does not specify the nature of the political argument, but said the woman and her two friends were sitting in a hotel hallway when Pierce and his girlfriend got out of the lift.
“Both groups of parties began a conversation about politics, which got Mr Pierce upset,” the report states.
The woman police identify as the victim in the case told officers that Pierce began to push her and she and her friends then began to walk to their room.
Pierce and the woman both declined medical help, but police said they took photographs of both people’s injuries.
Throughout his arrest, Pierce never indicated he was well known and his detention was treated like any other, Atlanta police spokesman Donald Hannah said.
After the arrest, Pierce decided not to attend and speak at an upcoming graduation ceremony in New Jersey because he did not want to create a distraction, Rutgers University-Newark said.
Jail records list New Orleans native Pierce’s current address as Pasadena, California.