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‘Cheers’ Star Grammer Faces Drug Trial : Court: Officer testifies that actor admitted dropping a small packet of cocaine in his patrol car.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Los Angeles police officer testified today that “Cheers” star Kelsey Grammer confessed to dropping a small packet of cocaine in his patrol car after the actor was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in 1988.

“That cocaine was in my pocket. I felt stupid. I should have just told you I had it,” Officer Michael Akana quoted Grammer as saying. “You deserve better than that. I would like to apologize to you,” the star allegedly added.

Akana was the sole witness during a preliminary hearing in Van Nuys Municipal Court on the cocaine possession charge stemming from Grammer’s April 14, 1988, arrest in North Hollywood after a routine traffic stop.

Judge Aviva K. Bobb said there was sufficient evidence to hold Grammer for trial and scheduled a Van Nuys Superior Court arraignment for June 13. Grammer plays pompous psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on the popular television program, “Cheers.”

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Wearing a blue jail uniform and sporting a stubbly beard, Grammer looked cheerful as he came into court for the brief hearing. Grammer is serving a 30-day sentence for a probation violation stemming from an unrelated drunk-driving conviction.

Akana testified that he stopped Grammer’s red sports car because it had expired license plates. Grammer’s eyes were bloodshot and he appeared pale, flushed and fatigued and smelled of alcohol, Akana said.

Grammer was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and driving without a license and taken by patrol car to the North Hollywood police station for a Breathalyzer test. Because the blood-alcohol measuring machine was broken, he was taken to the Van Nuys police station, where the one-quarter-gram packet of cocaine was found in the police car, Akana said.

Grammer’s blood-alcohol content was measured at .03%--well below the legal standard for driving under the influence of alcohol.

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Outside court, Robert L. Diamond, Grammer’s attorney, said his client was wearing a borrowed jacket on the night of his arrest and that the cocaine did not belong to him.

“He’s doing fine. He’s reading books,” Diamond said of his client’s jail time. “It’s just a little boring.”

Jail officials said he will be released on Saturday after serving 10 days. The early release is due to jail overcrowding.


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