Michael Bezjian/Getty Mitchel Musso
Musso, an actor and musician famous for playing Oliver Oken on Hannah Montana, denies both charges. "I was absolutely not drunk or drinking, and there was 100% no theft," Musso tells EW. "It's unfortunate, it's a misunderstanding."
Musso was booked on Saturday evening, according to Rockwall County jail records, on charges of public intoxication and theft of an item under $100. Officers responding to "a disturbance" at the SpringHill Suites Dallas Rockwall were informed that an individual who "appeared intoxicated" had entered the hotel, selected a bag of chips, and began eating them, according to a press release from the Rockwall County Police Department. Musso denies that he ever opened the bag of chips, claiming that a hotel employee who appeared "extremely disgruntled" and had "unhinged behavior," refused his service because he was dressed only in board shorts.
"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."
The press release states that when staffers asked the actor to pay, he became "verbally abusive" and left. To this Musso says, "I was the one who was being verbally abused and also harassed. Someone ripping something out of your hand is not the most polite manners to have in this situation."
When reached for comment, a manager at the hotel declined to speak to any specifics, describing the incident as "sensitive." Speaking to Musso's claim that he was verbally harassed by an employee, the manager said, "You know what, he can say whatever he wants to say. That's his story, that's fine."
Courtesy Mitchel Musso Mitchel Musso
Musso says the initial responding officers assured him the hotel would not be pressing charges. "And then the brigade showed up," he adds, "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."
Per the press release, the officers found Musso outside of the hotel, determined that he was intoxicated, and took him into custody. A routine records check also revealed that he had several outstanding traffic warrants, so he was additionally charged for an expired registration, failure to display a driver's license, and violating a promise to appear.
Musso says that the two unpaid tickets from 2019 were "ultimately the reason why they arrested me."
He continues, "I haven't lived in Rockwall for years and I guess they'd been sending it to my old house there. And it had become a warrant and they used it against me. So since then, all of those warrants have been paid and the matter has been resolved."
EW has requested a copy of the full police report, which has not yet been received.
DISNEY CHANNEL/JOEL WARREN Mitchel Musso and Miley Cyrus in 'Hannah Montana'
"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."
Regarding Rockwall, where Musso grew up and once received the key to the city, he adds, "I love that area, it's really really sad that this is what it's come to."
After a night in jail, Musso was released after posting a $1,000 bond. He says he immediately returned to the studio, where he is working on tracks for a new album that he says "sounds bigger than life" and features "artists that everybody knows." He also teased an "incredible" film that he has recently joined the cast of, but can't yet share details.
As for the bag of chips in question, Musso struggled to remember the exact brand.
"I know it was of the potato chip variety. Some sort of potato variety," he says. "I'm pretty sure it was Ruffles. One of my favorites. I like the waves in them. They hold dip well."
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