TORRINGTON - Actor Elmore “Rip” Torn was arrested Friday night after police said they found the 78-year-old had broken into Litchfield Bancrop branch on Main Street in Salisbury while “highly intoxicated” and armed with a loaded handgun.
Police responded to a burglar alarm at 9:40 p.m., and found Torn with the handgun. Torn was arrested without incident and charged with carrying a firearm under the influence of alcohol, first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal trespass, third-degree criminal mischief and carrying a pistol without a permit.
Friday's arrest, near Torn's Lakeville home was Torn's second in 13 months. The “Men in Black” and “30 Rock” star was charged with driving while intoxicated in December 2008 after police found him creeping along the breakdown lane on Route 44 in his Subaru with a Christmas tree tied to the roof.
Torn has previously been arrested twice for alcohol-related driving offenses in New York. A Litchfield Superior Court judge granted Torn a special form of probation in May that spared the actor jail time, and required an alcohol education program.
Torn's first arrest in 2004 in New York state resulted in an acquittal after jurors decided that prosecutors had failed to prove he was drinking before a fender-bender with a taxi. A police videotape showed him cursing and berating officers before turning down a sobriety test.
Torn's second prior arrest in Salem, N.Y., in 2007 resulted in a reduced charge of driving while impaired.
At what point does a person with alcoholism lose the right to own guns? Does such a severe restriction of the god-given right to protect oneself have to wait until there is loss of life? Rip Torn was very lucky, again, that no one got hurt. But in your opinion, is he the kind of man you want to own guns?
The sad reality is some people cannot be trusted with guns due to substance abuse problems. In The Famous 10%, I put the figure at 3% of gun owners, while in the population at large it's much higher. Do you think that's a fair estimate?
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