Times Staff Writer

Barry Bremen, a part-time sports hoaxer who briefly wound up behind bars Sunday after accepting an Emmy Award without authorization, was elated Friday after learning he only will be charged with “intefering with an event.”

“I’m really happy,” a relieved Bremen said by phone from his office in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he is a partner in a manufacturer’s representative company. “That really takes a lot of the pressure off.”

Courtlandt Crabtree, an assistant city prosecutor in Pasadena, said the charge filed against Bremen is an infraction, a category lower than a misdemeanor. It carries a maximum fine of $170 but no jail term, he said.

Bremen wangled his way on stage at the 37th Emmy Awards show and accepted an Emmy for Betty Thomas of NBC’s “Hill Street Blues.” He said he later apologized to Thomas and tried to explain that he hadn’t known she was present.

Police who led him away in handcuffs and jailed him for nearly six hours initially booked him for investigation of attempted grand theft.


Bremen, 38, who faces an Oct. 8 court appearance, said that he had no second thoughts about the prank, but regretted upsetting Thomas. He said he wouldn’t have accepted her Emmy had he realized she was in the audience.

“That’s the only thing I feel bad about,” he said.