Todd Bridges Arrested on Drug Charges

From a Times Staff Writer

Actor Todd Bridges, on bail awaiting retrial in a drug-related shooting, was arrested with a companion in North Hollywood early Saturday on suspicion of possessing cocaine for sale, authorities said.

Bridges, 24, who played the older brother on the "Diff'rent Strokes" television series, was seated in a parked car at Victory Boulevard and Tujunga Avenue at 3:50 a.m., when Los Angeles police officers stopped to investigate "two suspicious males."

Authorities said Bridges and Steve Mallen, 36, were being held in lieu of $5,000 bail at the Van Nuys jail.

In November, Bridges was acquitted of charges of attempted murder and attempted voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of a convicted Texas drug dealer in South-Central Los Angeles. But jurors deadlocked on a third charge of assault with a deadly weapon, and Bridges was released on $25,000 bail while awaiting a retrial on that charge.

Prosecutors alleged that Bridges shot Kenneth Clay, 25, eight times while inside a rock cocaine house. In 1987, Bridges received a suspended sentence after pleading no contest to a charge of making a bomb threat, and in 1983 he was fined $240 for carrying a concealed weapon.

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