Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Glen Campbell

PHOENIX — Country singer Glen Campbell, whose hits included "Rhinestone Cowboy," struck another car while driving drunk and left the scene, then later kneed a police officer while demanding to see the police chief, authorities said Tuesday.
Singer Glen Campbell stands for his booking photo at the Madison Street Jail in Phoenix in November of 2003.

He was freed on $2,000 bail on charges of extreme drunken driving and hit and run. He also was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.

Campbell, 67, was arrested Monday at his home after a collision at a Phoenix intersection in which nobody was hurt, police Sgt. Randy Force said. A witness had followed the car, called police on a cell phone and directed them to a home in the Biltmore area, Force said.

"Officers contacted the driver of that BMW who was Glen Campbell," he said. "Based on his appearance and demeanor, they believed he was intoxicated and took him into custody."

Departmental policy prevents authorities from releasing the results of blood-alcohol tests, Force said, but extreme drunken driving applies when results are above 0.15%. The legal limit for drivers in Arizona is 0.08%.

He posted bail on the charges of suspicion of extreme drunken driving and hit and run. While being processed at a police station, police said Campbell — minutes away from being released to waiting friends and family — became angry and kneed Sgt. Bill Niles in the thigh. Niles was not hurt.

That prompted police to arrest him again, on suspicion of assault. He was taken to jail and appeared in Superior Court just before midnight. A court commissioner, Steve Kupiszewski, placed him on supervised release, requiring him to check in periodically with court monitors, who could test him for alcohol and drugs.

"There was a lot of, 'Do you know who I am. I'm Glen Campbell' ... I shouldn't be locked up like this.' He asked to speak to the chief of police," Niles said.

Moments before his appearance in front of Kupiszewski, Campbell, wearing an Arizona Diamondbacks polo shirt, shorts and tennis shoes, seemed relaxed.

"There's a first time for everything," Campbell told his lawyer, Larry Debus.

The other car involved in the collision was driven by Charles Root, 31, a waiter. Root said police took him to a house where he identified a man standing in a yard as the person who hit him. Later, he was told it was the singer.

"It didn't look like him at all. He had on a ball cap and was wearing shorts and a T-shirt," Root told the East Valley Tribune.

A publicist for Campbell could not be reached for comment late Monday.
Campbell, who has lived in Arizona for 22 years and has no prior convictions, was hugely successful in the 1960s and early '70s with a string of hits on the pop and country charts, including "Rhinestone Cowboy," "Galveston," "Gentle on My Mind," "Wichita Lineman" and the Grammy-winning "By the Time I Get to Phoenix."
He was the Country Music Association's entertainer of the year for 1968 and had his own television show, "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour," from 1969 to 1972. He also was a top session guitarist.
Force said that while in jail, Campbell could be heard singing 'Rhinestone Cowboy'.