The famed New York fashion photographer and filmmaker was arrested while trying to leave a Park City nightclub in the early hours of Saturday, Jan. 22.
The incident is an embarrassment to Utah and Park City, asserts LaChapelle's attorney, Jim Bradshaw, who claims Summit County sheriff's deputies acted inappropriately.
"This is a problem, because it raises concerns for people to be able to come [to Utah] and have a good time without being mistreated," Bradshaw said.
While LaChapelle celebrated inside the club Harry O's with actresses Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson, a crowd gathered outside, eager to catch a glimpse of the celebrities. The growing crowd prompted the group to send for a car and ask for security assistance as they left. Park City police and Summit County Sheriff's deputies arrived for crowd control.
After the group exited the building, LaChapelle and friend John Byrne were separated from Hilton and Anderson, Bradshaw said. The women were escorted to the waiting vehicle while the men were thrust back into the crowd.
Officers did not listen to LaChapelle's plea to let him join the group in the car, Bradshaw said. "Eyewitnesses consistently say that David was just trying to get into the car with the others and officers were absolutely unwilling to listen to him," said Bradshaw.
Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds maintains his deputies acted appropriately.
"During the exchange, Mr. LaChapelle became verbally and physically abusive. My deputy developed enough probable cause to make an arrest," Edmunds said.
LaChapelle and Byrne were booked into the Summit County jail on suspicion of disorderly conduct. The incident is still being reviewed for possible charges by the Summit County attorney's office.
"If Mr. LaChapelle believes he's innocent of these charges then he needs to move forward and have his day in court," Edmunds said.
Bradshaw said he has little doubt LaChapelle and Byrne became upset during the confrontation, but says neither touched an officer. "Neither John or David did anything wrong to warrant arrest and detention," Bradshaw said.