NEW YORK – Police led a handcuffed Russell Crowe (search) on a "perp walk" from a Manhattan precinct jail into a waiting NYPD vehicle Monday, mere hours after he was arrested for allegedly hurling a phone at a hotel employee.
The "Cinderella Man" (search) star, whose boxing film opened amid much hype this weekend, was arraigned Monday afternoon on assault charges and given a Sept. 14 court date.
He didn't enter a plea during his hearing and was released on his own recognizance, with no bail set.
"This arose because he was trying to get his wife on the phone in Australia," his lawyer, Gerald Lefcourt, told reporters outside the police precinct where Crowe was booked. "He was in his room. He couldn't get a line and there was a disagreement."
He faces a second-degree assault charge and a fourth-degree weapon possession charge (the weapon in question is the phone). The assault charge carries a possible sentence of four years behind bars.
The New Zealand-born Crowe, 41, was arrested before dawn for allegedly throwing a telephone at an employee of the Manhattan hotel where he was staying, hitting him in the face and sending him to the hospital, said police Sgt. Mike Wysokowski.
Crowe, who plays 1930s-era boxing hero James J. Braddock (search) in his latest film, allegedly threw the phone at the Mercer Hotel employee during an argument about 4:20 a.m., according to Wysokowski.
Police said Crowe was frustrated with the fact that he couldn't get a line in his room, so he went to the front desk where the alleged confrontation took place.
The prosecution told the judge that Crowe admitted to a police officer that he picked up the phone and threw it because he was angry.
The employee was reportedly taken to St. Vincent's Hospital for what was described as a "laceration" to his face, police said.
Crowe's publicist, Robin Baum, told syndicated TV show "Extra" that "after asking the front desk several times to replace a faulty phone in his room — and getting only attitude from the clerk on duty — Crowe brought the phone down to the front desk in an effort to address the situation in person.
"Words were exchanged and Crowe wound up throwing the phone against the wall. He regrets that he lost his temper, but at no time did he assault anyone or touch any hotel employee."
Assistant District Attorney Chad Sjoquist asked the judge to set $5,000 bail, but Murphy released Crowe on his own recognizance and told him to return to court Sept. 14.
The movie star, who grew up in Australia and has become a Hollywood favorite, was moved from the New York City Police Department's first precinct to Manhattan Criminal Court about midday, when officers escorted him through the camera-clicking paparazzi.
Clad in a blue bomber-style jacket, jeans and dark sunglasses, the actor made no comment to the horde of reporters who descended on him as he was walked out of the precinct and put in the back of an NYPD sport utility vehicle for the short drive to court, also in lower Manhattan.
An employee who answered the phone at the Mercer Hotel in SoHo said he was unaware of the early-morning incident.
The critically acclaimed actor is known for his erratic mood swings and difficult temperament, and has been involved in public fights before — including a 2002 brawl in a swanky London restaurant and another earlier the same year in which he reportedly shoved a producer of the British Film Awards show for editing his best actor acceptance speech.
Crowe won the Academy Award for best actor for his leading role in 2000's "Gladiator."
Crowe is married to singer Danielle Spencer (search), and the two have a 17-month-old son, Charles Spencer Crowe, born in December 2003.
"Cinderella Man," directed by Ron Howard, had a lackluster opening this weekend, debuting at No. 4 with an estimated $18.6 million at the box office, behind "Madagascar" ($28.7 million), "The Longest Yard" ($26.1 million) and "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith" ($26 million).
Universal had counted on a better debut for the film, which reunites Howard, Crowe and producer Brian Grazer, the team behind the 2001 Academy Awards champion "A Beautiful Mind."
FOX News' Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.