Poland: Cinematographer charged in first responders’ assault
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — An Oscar-nominated American cinematographer was charged Wednesday with assaulting public officials in Poland after he allegedly attacked paramedics and police who were called to a hotel where he had been seen staggering.
Matthew Libatique, 50, was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the 2010 film “Black Swan” and was the cinematographer for the new remake of “A Star is Born” that Bradley Cooper directed and co-stars Lady Gaga.
The alleged offenses occurred early Tuesday in the city of Bydgoszcz, where Libatique was an honorary guest at the Camerimage international film festival, according to police officials.
Medical officials were called because Libatique was seen staggering.
“The patient suddenly became aggressive toward medical rescuers, used offensive words and hit the head of the emergency medical team,” Krzysztof Wisniewski, an emergency official, told Polish broadcaster TVN24.
A paramedic had a tooth broken and other injuries, Wisniewski said.
Police then were called to the scene, and the cinematographer allegedly attacked the officers, too, Bydgoszcz city police spokeswoman Monika Chlebicz said.
Libatique, who had facial injuries and appeared very intoxicated, was taken to hospital, Chlebicz said.
Prosecutors questioned Libatique and charged him Wednesday with assaulting public officials, an offense punishable by a prison sentence of up to three years under Polish law, Chlebicz said.
Libatique could not immediately be reached for comment. The office of the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography said it had no details about the alleged incident but had no reason to doubt the allegations. It said a trial and verdict were expected in the coming days.