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Harrelson Chokes TMZ Photog

LAPD Investigates

6/30/2006 5:46 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Woody Harrelson choked TMZ cameraman Josh Levine late Thursday night as he left a Hollywood nightclub, and the LAPD is conducting a criminal investigation.

The incident occurred at approximately 11:30 p.m. outside Element, a club frequented by celebrities. As Harrelson left with three women and two men, Levine and other photogs began shooting. Harrelson became irritated and asked Levine to stop shooting. Harrelson then walked over to Levine, put his hand on the camera and asked Levine to stop. Levine said "All I'm doing is my job." Harrelson, who appears in "A Prairie Home Companion," then said, "I've asked you to stop, are you going to stop?" and Levine replied, "Not when you ask me like that." The video then shows Harrelson break the camera and the picture goes dead.

TMZ obtained a second video, shot by another photog, showing the altercation. The photographer began shooting just as Harrelson grabbed Levine's neck.There is no audio in this portion of the tape.

After the incident, Levine was visibly agitated and argued with a man who appeared to be Harrelson's security guard. Then Levine flagged down an LAPD patrol car and told the two officers inside, "Hey bro, I just got assaulted by Woody Harrelson. He choked me out right now." A man standing near Levine added, "Yeah, I'm a witness." The police did not acknowledge Levine and simply drove away.


Harrelson's publicist, Ina Treciokas, told TMZ: "Unfortunately, this is not the first or last time the paparazzi have provoked an incident with a celebrity. Mr. Harrelson is evaluating all of his legal options against the photographer."

Levine went to LAPD's Hollywood division and filed a criminal complaint against Harrelson. The police have Levine's tape as evidence, and TMZ has given the LAPD a copy of the second tape. Levine, who suffered neck lacerations, was then taken by two officers to Cedars Sinai emergency room, where he was examined and released.

Josh Levine

LAPD Detective John Padilla told TMZ the investigation is ongoing and "We're going to present it to the D.A.'s office" as early as today. Padilla added, "With the tapes and all, it's pretty good evidence." Padilla said vandalism and assault and battery charges could be filed against Harrelson.


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"Hey bro, I just got assaulted by Woody Harrelson. He choked me out right now." THat's how this dumb-as, immature wimp talks to a police officer? "Hey, bro?" gotta be kidding me! He wants the police officer to take him SERIOUSLY....yet, he addresses him as, "Bro"? Once again, Levine got just what he deserved...and ended up looking like a whiny, wimpy, impotent cry-baby...which is probably an accurate read on his personality.

3005 days ago

Dee Dee Dee    

Why suddenly when it is a TMZ camerman, you headline this story with the word photographer? Josh Levine is obviously a PAPARAZZI.
Tell the truth TMZ, and people will have more respect for you!

3005 days ago


So what do you think Woody did not want tthe public or his wife, to see.? Let's see. His wife just had a baby - she is home and he is out at a club, partying with two men and three women. He really did not want that caught on tape.

3005 days ago

JR Johnson    

I think that Woody just didnt want to photo him. Everyone else was fine but when this asshole started filming him is when he got upset. The quality of the film is HORRIBLE the worst i have ever seen on AOL. I dont blame woody for not wanting this company to film him. He should have kicked this guys ass. should be imbarased, and fire the camera man for the poor photgraphy. If you run a company that is as low as that makes an actor as calm as Woody Harrelson mad that is bad. Next time you hire someone to run a camera make sure they no how to use it.

3005 days ago


that camera man is an a**hole! what a jerk! Woody did ask him nicely. maybe he shouldn't have put his hand on the camera, but everyone knows Woddy is kind of a hot head. this guy deliberately pushed Woody's buttons and i guess he got what he wanted.....a confrontation. stopping the police? puhleez! what a moron! no wonder the police just drove away. serves him right for pushing things and being rude. i hope the camera man has to pay for the camera himself...poor baby! NOT!!!

3005 days ago


I think that Woody would not have done anything had he not been provocked. Did anyone see the movie "Papparazzi?" should rent it ... it shows what famous people have to put up with.
They act like animals with no sense of human kindness or manners. They are out for is so sick! I think papparazzi should only take photos that the person gives them permission to take. It is an envasion of privacy.
I know I wouldn't like it if my privacy were taken away like that. I'm willing to bet that the papparrazzi wouldn't be able to put up with one minute of it if they were the ones being stalked instead!
When the famous are asked to sign autographs or are in a place where they are taking photos with people that is fine.... but if they are with their family or friends and just want to have a moment of peace...I don't think that is too much to ask. They afterall are just people like the rest of us .. trying to have a life.
You would think there would be less of this horror happening after what happened to Princess Diana.
Where is the human heart in this...doesn't anyone care anymore?

3005 days ago


76. Woody deserves to be in prision just like is jailbird daddy!!!!!!!!!

Posted at 10:10PM on Jun 30th 2006 by jessica 0 stars
oh, okay, jessica! get a life!

3005 days ago


64. Woody Harrelson is a two bit thug, he should work for a ganster; because he's lousy as an actor anyhow. I'm sure he thinks of himself as a tough guy, but i bet he couldn't take a grade school student. I know my 9 year old grand niece could take him.

Posted at 9:04PM on Jun 30th 2006 by Lee 0 stars

okay, you call Woody Harrelson a two bit thug but then say you bet your 9 year old grand neice could take him?!!! who's the thug now? cool. your grand neice must be hott! what is she, an overgrown amazon?!!!

3005 days ago


I'm a videographer but I am not going to tape somebody against their will. This videographer is a jerk! Maybe somebody should follow him around when he's out with his family and friends and let him see how hw likes it.


3005 days ago


Reality show time! Woody, Tommy Lee, Britney Spears & K-Fed, Naomi Campbell, Axl Rose, Star Jones, and Charlie Sheen.

3005 days ago



3005 days ago

Mike Fitz    

I'm not mad at the photog or Woody. I'm disgusted with any company like TMZ that finds it necessary to leech off another's success by making life miserable for many of the celebs. It's way out of hand. I pay for the skill - be it athletic, thespian, whatever.

Once any individual asks to be left alone, that's it. TMZ (Twits Mean Zip) should stop leeching and find a meaningful occupation.

3005 days ago


Cry me a river that he got "hurt". That's what he gets for stalking and continuing to stalk after someone asked him repeatedly not to. He says, ""I'm just doing my job." Well, if stalking is your job, be prepared for people to defend themselves. I love it when they cry about it later. Photographers are quite a whiney and weak bunch really. Be a man! If it's your "job" to stalk, then be prepared to be a man and accept the consequences. You brought it upon yourself, don't waste tax payers money by having the police get involved when you overstepped reasonable bounds. I don't want to have to pay for police runs because you are stalking.

3005 days ago


Is anyone board with the celebrity shit? Who cares what they do?

3005 days ago


I'm surprised Woody would do this. I've seen him in person & he's quite a small guy & looks much larger on the screen. Typical LAPD response. As another poster said he's not on the A list for photographer's to be chasing after & he's not constantly hounded by media attention, so I don't understand his problem. These celebs think they can & most do get away with anything.

3005 days ago
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