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Police: John Barrymore III Assaulted

May 6, 2002

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) _ Former actor John Barrymore III was beaten in his home by teen-agers trying to steal his marijuana plants, police said.

Six teens arrived at the house in a van Wednesday, said police spokesman Jim Bennett. When Barrymore and his wife opened the door, they were beaten with a metal trailer hitch slung in a sock.

The San Jose Mercury News reported Sunday that Barrymore, 47, underwent brain surgery Friday and was expected to recover.

``We are lucky to be alive,″ Rebecca Barrymore, who is recovering at home, told the newspaper.

Bennett said the investigation is continuing.

The Barrymores’ home number is unlisted and Mrs. Barrymore could not be reached for comment. A Stanford Medical Center spokeswoman was unable to confirm John Barrymore was hospitalized.

Barrymore, 47, is the grandson of the Shakespearean actor and silent film star with the same name. Now dabbling in high-tech work, he has had several minor movie roles and is stepbrother to actress Drew Barrymore.

A witness told police the youths had heard Barrymore’s son bragging about his father’s cache of 100 marijuana plants, the newspaper reported.

Rebecca Barrymore told the paper her husband kept the plants to relieve his chronic migraines. Such medical use is illegal under federal law.

Jeremy Solito, 18, of San Jose, was arraigned on charges of attempted murder, robbery and burglary. Bond was set at $1 million for Solito and $5 million for a 17-year-old suspect. Four juveniles also were arrested, Bennett said.

The suspects fled without taking any plants and were arrested minutes later, he said.

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