Published February 20, 2009
NEW YORK – The actor who played a steroid dealer in the Oscar-nominated film "The Wrestler" was charged Thursday with being the real thing: Authorities arrested him in a large steroid bust that culminated in a violent chase.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan also accused Scott Siegel of leading Drug Enforcement Administration agents and local police on a car chase worthy of an action flick.
Siegel, 34, was ordered held without bail on federal drug dealing and assault charges at a court appearance Thursday in White Plains, N.Y. The arrest and chase played out three days before the Oscars, where "The Wrestler" could garner an Academy Award for the lead actor, Mickey Rourke.
Prosecutors said investigators had seized 1,500 bottles labeled as anabolic steroids and tens of thousands of dollars in cash during searches of Siegal's home and that of his parents.
"We're going to evaluate the charges," his attorney, Peter Tilem, said.
Authorities had Siegel under surveillance as part of a steroid-trafficking investigation. On Wednesday night, officers staking out his parent's town house in a gated development in Westchester County spotted him getting out of his car carrying a brown box, court papers said.
Siegel spotted the officers unmarked vehicle, walked over and commented on their car before driving away, the papers said. When he returned a short time later, several police vehicles converged on his car.
In the ensuing pursuit, he smashed through a fence and rammed three police cars and two DEA cars, "apparently intentionally," the court papers said.
When cornered, Siegel again smashed into police cars and aimed his car at one of the officers who was on foot "in an apparent attempt to run him over," the paper said. He eventually tried to flee on foot before officers finally grabbed him, the papers added.
"The Wrestler" features Rourke as a washed-up wrestler trying to make a comeback. Siegel has a bit part as a steroid dealer in a gym where Rourke's character works out.