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Robert Downey Jr. Passes Out in a Neighbor’s Bed, Is Arrested

July 17, 1996

MALIBU, Calif. (AP) _ Robert Downey Jr., arrested after passing out in a neighbor’s bed, was released from custody today after spending the night in a hospital jail ward.

Downey, 31, left the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center with what appeared to be a white pillowcase over his head and rode away in a new black sport utility vehicle, making an obscene gesture to news crews as he passed.

The Oscar-nominated actor was arrested Tuesday night after deputies received a report of a suspicious, possibly intoxicated person inside a home.

When deputies arrived, the residents told them they had come home to find a man passed out in their house in a bed, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Gabe Ramirez.

The deputies recognized Downey, whose own home is about a block away, and paramedics took him to Santa Monica Hospital, where he was revived. He was later transferred to the jail ward in Los Angeles.

He was cited for trespassing and being under the influence of a controlled substance. He is scheduled for arraignment on Aug. 30 in Malibu Municipal Court.

Downey, who was nominated for an Oscar for the film ``Chaplin,″ lives in a beach community with celebrities including Emilio Estevez, Mel Gibson, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Lemmon, Frank Sinatra, Steven Spielberg, Sylvester Stallone and Eddie Van Halen.

The arrest came just hours after authorities filed charges against Downey for drug possession, driving under the influence and having a concealed weapon in a vehicle in connection with a June 23 traffic stop in Malibu.

Downey was arrested in that incident when officers allegedly found small amounts of crack and powder cocaine and tar heroin as well as a concealed, unloaded .357-caliber Magnum in his vehicle.

If found guilty on those charges, Downey could spend three years and eight months in prison, said Deputy District Attorney Ellen Aragon.

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