Actor Denies Making Bomb Threat Over Work on Car

Times Staff Writer

Actor Todd Anthony Bridges of the ABC series “Diff’rent Strokes,” who was arrested last week at his Northridge home on suspicion of making bomb threats, denied Tuesday that he made “any kind of threat” against a Van Nuys businessman.

Bridges, 20, who plays the character Willis opposite Gary Coleman in the television series, was arrested Friday over accusations that he threatened Greg Tyree, who was hired by the actor to make alterations to his Porsche.

Bridges said he and Tyree had a dispute over payment for paint and interior work on the car. The actor said he paid $4,000; Tyree could not be reached for comment.

“I did not and would not threaten Mr. Tyree,” Bridges said during a press conference at his mother’s home in Canoga Park.


His mother, Betty Bridges, said she and her son contacted police after Tyree telephoned last Wednesday and said he would complain to authorities unless she paid him $2,000 for the work on the car. She said she did not owe the money.

A police spokesman said after Bridges was arrested that the threats were made on March 21 and March 26.

In 1983, Bridges was arrested by Beverly Hills police for carrying a loaded, concealed .45-caliber handgun in his car. He pleaded guilty, was fined $240 and placed on one-year probation.

Bridges said at the time that he bought the gun because of threats from people who identified themselves as members of the Ku Klux Klan.


On Tuesday, Bridges said that the earlier case resulted from his immaturity and from not listening to his mother’s advice.

Bridges said he plans a lecture tour later this year to urge children to seek guidance from their parents and to urge parents to listen to their children.