PROVO, Utah – Gary Coleman has been sued by a man who claims the actor punched him and ran into him with his truck in a Payson bowling alley parking lot, causing knee, back and neck injuries.
Colt Rushton, 24, of Spanish Fork, says he and Coleman got into an argument Sept. 6 after he began taking pictures of the "Diff'rent Strokes" actor with a cell phone.
Coleman, 40, was charged with misdemeanor reckless driving and disorderly conduct in Payson City Justice Court. A court clerk said Thursday there had been no notification that Coleman is represented by a lawyer.
In the civil lawsuit, filed Wednesday in 4th District Court, Rushton's account of the confrontation said Coleman's bodyguard, Paul Rohbock, told Rushton he would have to pay $20 per picture if he continued taking photos.
Rushton's attorney, Dustin Lance, said Rushton stopped taking pictures, but when he later saw Coleman sitting in his truck close to the steering wheel, he thought it was funny and took another picture.
The lawsuit contends Rushton was attacked from behind by Rohbock or Coleman's wife, Shannon Price, and that his cell phone was taken away. The lawsuit also contends Coleman punched Rushton in the chest several times.
"He's saying, 'Gary, you can leave, I'm sorry, I'll delete the pictures, just please give me my phone back,'" Lance said.
Coleman could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday. There is no telephone listing for him in the Santaquin area where he lives.
The lawsuit said Coleman wouldn't return the phone, and that Coleman hit Rushton and a car as he was trying to leave the parking lot.
The former "Diff'rent Strokes" TV star moved to Santaquin in 2005, about the time he starred in "Church Ball," a film based on basketball leagues formed by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"Diff'rent Strokes" aired from 1978 to 1986.
Payson is about 52 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.