By Edwin Folven, 7/19/2012
Actor Fred Willard was arrested for committing a lewd act on July 18 at an adult theatre on Santa Monica Boulevard.
The arrest occurred around 8:50 p.m. at the Tiki Theatre in the 5400 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, according to Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson, Officer Rosario Herrera. Uniformed vice officers from the LAPD’s Hollywood Division were conducting a routine inspection of the theatre when they allegedly observed Willard, 72, engaged in the lewd act. He was arrested and taken to the Hollywood community police station, where he was cited for committing a lewd act, a misdemeanor, and released. Officer Ed Sakowski, of the Hollywood Division’s Vice Unit, said the case will be forwarded to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.
Sakowski said the inspection was part of regular duties performed by vice officers in Hollywood, which include inspecting adult theatres, adult bookstores, strip clubs, bars and nightclubs. He said the Tiki Theatre shows adult films, and has been in business for more than 25 years. Sakowski added that there is no set schedule for inspecting adult businesses, but vice officers make it a point to conduct inspections frequently.
“We might hit it once a week or once a month,” Sakowski said. “Sometimes we do it if we are getting complaints, but it doesn’t have to be problematic. It’s just part of our regular duties.”
He said officers commonly make arrests for lewd conduct at the Tiki Theatre, and officers also routinely patrol the parking lots and side streets around the business. Sakowski said the section of Santa Monica Boulevard where the Tiki Theatre is located has experienced problems with prostitution for years.
“It draws anything and everything,” Sakowski added. “It’s the reason why we have a vice unit in Hollywood.”
Lt. Patrick Shields, commanding officer for the LAPD’s Detective Support and Vice Division, said the Tiki Theatre is one of the few remaining adult theatres in Hollywood. Shields worked in the Hollywood Vice Unit in 2002 and 2003, and said adult theatres and other adult businesses were much more prevalent then.
“That area had its moments. It was a little problematic,” Shields said. “There used to be a lot of [adult theatres], but I can tell you, there’s not many of those places around anymore in Hollywood, or anywhere in the city.”