National Geographic TV Host James Currie Arrested for Defending Man in Superman Costume; Is Suing Palm Beach Sheriff's Office
photo: Bernie44 via Wikipedia
James Currie, the birding expert and host of National Geographic Wild's Aerial Assassins, was apparently arrested for trying to defend Superman from cops after a multicar accident, and now the TV host is suing the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office for wrongfully arresting him.
OK, let's back up.
Currie, a longtime Lake Worth resident, was involved in a car accident in June 2013. According to the police report, alcohol was apparently involved. And a man in a Superman costume -- later identified as Currie's brother-in-law -- was riding with Currie. Police believe Superman was the one driving the vehicle, though Currie disputed that. When police arrived to investigate, Superman ran away while Currie stayed at the scene of the accident.
Superman was eventually arrested, and when Currie tried to stick up for the Man of Steel, he was arrested too. But Currie claims it was a wrongful arrest and has filed a suit claiming that his reputation was "greatly injured."
According to the police report, which you can read in its entirely below, Currie and the man dressed in a Superman costume were riding in a Dodge pickup on June 6, 2013. The pickup smashed into the median, causing a multivehicle accident.
Police say alcohol was involved in the accident. The report says that when police arrived, the man in a "red Superman costume with cape" ran away toward a nearby school. Cops deployed a K9 unit to track him down.
The K9 unit tracked him down to an area where Superman was hiding in a tree. Superman then tried to jump a fence that separated the trees from where the police were. But he wasn't as fast as a speeding bullet, and cops were able to nab him and walked him back to the scene of the accident.
The man in the Superman outfit turned out to be Benjamin Patchen, Currie's brother-in-law. And according to police, Patchen appeared to be drunk. When police tried questioning him, he refused to answer. He also refused to take a sobriety test.
Patchen told cops he would clear things up at the station and said he had come from a bachelor party, where he got "trashed."
According to the lawsuit, Currie told police that Patchen was in the Dodge with him but that he was not driving. But police refused to believe that story.
Currie persisted in telling the officers that Patchen was not to blame for the accident, since he was in the passenger's seat. That's when police cuffed and arrested Currie.
According to the police report, Currie was argumentative and was arrested for refusing to leave the scene after being ordered to by PBSO Deputy Ken Noel.
Noel, who filled out the report, wrote that he smelled alcohol coming from the smashed Dodge and that there were "several beer cans" inside it.
Currie's lawsuit says his reputation as a TV host has been damaged over the arrest.
"As a television personality, [Currie] has been brought to public scandal, disrepute and disgrace," the lawsuit says.
New Times put in a call to Currie's attorney, Christopher Haddad, but the secretary we spoke to said he was in court.
We'll update this article when we hear back from Haddad.
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