Last weekend, actor/musician Mitchel Musso, best known for playing Oliver Oken on Hannah Montana, was arrested in Rockwall, Texas on charges of theft and public intoxication. To be honest, the first thing I thought when I read that headline was, “Oh no, another troubled former child star! How sad.” But, according to Mitchel, the whole thing is just an unfortunate misunderstanding.
Yesterday, Entertainment Weekly published an interview with Mitchel in which he denied both charges. The 32-year-old says, “I was absolutely not drunk or drinking, and there was 100% no theft.”
According to a press release from the Rockwall County Police Department, officers responded to “a disturbance” at the SpringHill Suites Dallas Rockwall, which is on Lake Ray Hubbard. Apparently, Mitchel entered the hotel, grabbed a bag of chips, and began eating them. When staff asked Mitchel to pay for the chips, he allegedly became “verbally abusive” and left. The cops add that the actor “appeared intoxicated”.
But Mitchel says the police are wrong. He never opened the bag of chips, and it was the hotel employee who verbally abused him. Mitchel claims the staffer was upset he walked into the hotel shirtless:
“I didn’t know it was illegal not to wear shirts these days,” Musso adds, explaining that he had just come in with friends from a docked boat on the harbor to restock their snack supply. He says that the employee who was “agitated from the get go” grabbed the chips out of his hand.
“He told me to ‘get the f—- out,’ were the words he used. And that kind of set me off. And he said, ‘I’m gonna call the police’ and I said go for it.”
Mitchel says that, when the initial responding officers arrived, they assured him the hotel would not be pressing charges. But then, “the brigade showed up”:
“There was literally, there was 10, 11 cop cars, 20 officers outside surrounding me and that’s when I got scared.”
At which point, he says, “I shut my mouth and I just put my hands behind my back because that’s where it was going to begin with, and I let them take me in.”
Officers found Mitchel outside the hotel, determined he was drunk, and took him into custody. Then, a routine records check revealed he had several outstanding traffic warrants, so he was also charged for an expired registration, failure to display a driver’s license, and violating a promise to appear.
Mitchel says, ultimately, it was his two unpaid tickets from 2019 that got him arrested. But, again, he insists it was all just a crazy misunderstanding! He hasn’t lived in Rockwall for years, and “I guess they’d been sending it to my old house there.” Since his arrest, Mitchel has paid all the warrants and “the matter has been resolved.” He adds:
“The truth’s gonna come out,” he adds. “I’ve never stolen anything in my life and did not steal any chips nor was I drunk or drunken or drank or inappropriate to anybody inside that hotel.”
Mitchel spent the night in jail and was released after posting a $1,000 bond. When Entertainment Weekly asked Mitchel what brand of chips the hotel accused him of trying to steal, he struggled to remember: “I know it was of the potato chip variety. Some sort of potato variety. I’m pretty sure it was Ruffles. One of my favorites. I like the waves in them. They hold dip well.” All this kerfuffle over Ruffles. What a world!
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Mitchel has been arrested. Back in 2011, the then-20-year-old got a DUI in Burbank. Disney didn’t love that, and they cancelled Mitchel’s show PrankStars and wrote him out of the sitcom, Pair of Kings. Since his fallout with Disney, Mitchel’s mainly appeared in low budget flicks and voice roles. Last year, he announced his return to the music industry, and released his first new song in ten years: DRANK.