By STEPHANIE REITZ
Associated Press Writer
LITCHFIELD, Conn. — Rip Torn was so intoxicated when he broke into a Connecticut bank carrying a loaded gun that he thought he was home, taking off his hat and boots and leaving them by the door, according to court records.
The 78-year-old actor was wearing the same battered boots Monday when he was arraigned on several charges after spending the weekend in a police holding cell near his hometown of Salisbury, in northwestern Connecticut.
Torn, who did not enter a plea, was released on $100,000 bond a few hours later and waded through a phalanx of media to a friend’s waiting vehicle. He smiled and wished onlookers a nice day but did not answer questions about the arrest.
He is expected to enter an alcohol rehabilitation center in New York as early as Tuesday, according to his attorney.
Torn was given probation last year in a Connecticut drunken driving case and allowed to enter an alcohol education program. He completed the first stage of that program.
He also has two previous drunken driving arrests in New York.
“The history here is clear that there’s an alcohol issue that needs to be addressed,” his attorney, A. Thomas Waterfall, told Bantam Superior Court Judge John W. Pickard on Monday.
The “Men in Black” actor is accused of breaking into the Litchfield Bancorp branch through a window Friday night in Salisbury, where officers responding to an alarm found him wandering in the lobby and nearly incoherent.
According to court records, Torn was disoriented, reeked of alcohol and asked the state police troopers repeatedly why they were taking him out of his home.
“Obviously, he wasn’t there intending to commit a crime, in my estimation,” Waterfall said.
Officers found a loaded .22-caliber revolver in Torn’s pocket, according to court records, and a breath test showed his blood-alcohol content as 0.203 percent – more than twice the 0.08 legal limit for driving in Connecticut.
Torn is charged with criminal trespass, carrying a gun without a permit, carrying a gun while intoxicated, burglary and criminal mischief. His case was transferred to a court in Litchfield that handles more serious cases because of the weapons charges.
He remembers nothing of that night, Waterfall said Monday after the arraignment.
“He’s a very nice person, a very friendly individual. Obviously this is a serious event, so we will deal with it as we go on,” Waterfall said.
Torn never brandished the weapon when the officers confronted him, according to Waterfall and the court records, and has no history of violence. His permit to carry a firearm in Connecticut had expired in October 2007.
The actor, whose real name is Elmore Rual Torn, has appeared on the television show “30 Rock” and won an Emmy in 1996 for his work on “The Larry Sanders Show.” In addition to “Men in Black,” his recent movie credits include “The Insider” and “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.”
Torn is scheduled to return to Litchfield Superior Court on Feb. 17.
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