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Fox News Anchor Was In Rehab Before Airport Arrest

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP/WCCO) — A Fox News weekend anchor who was arrested after he allegedly became combative with police at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport may have taken a drug that didn’t mix well with alcohol, a police report released Thursday suggests.

Gregg Jarrett, 59, was arrested Wednesday after police were called to the Northern Lights Grill in the airport’s main terminal on a report of a customer who was “acting very intoxicated,” the report said.

Officers arrived to find Jarrett sitting at the bar — swaying back and forth and using the bar for support — and unwilling or unable to answer questions.

The bar employee told police Jarrett seemed very intoxicated after just one drink. Jarrett allegedly told another customer he’d taken medication before his flight, but he denied that when questioned by police. He told police he’d been drinking vodka since 9 a.m., the report said.

Jarrett was taken to a holding cell for possible detoxification and evaluation, and while there he became agitated, grabbed an officer’s arm, and began struggling with police. It took more than one officer to handcuff him, the report said.

Officers found gabapentin pills in his pocket. A search of Jarrett’s bag showed he was just released from an alcohol and chemical dependency treatment facility, the report said.

Gabapentin is approved for treating seizure disorders and pain that occurs after shingles, though it is prescribed for a number of other reasons. Side effects can include drowsiness, dizziness and loss of coordination.

Drug expert Carol Falkowski says it’s difficult for some to break the cycle of addiction.

“Most people with addiction struggle their whole lives with it,” Falkowski said. “People under the influence of alcohol do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do. Other prescription medications only make it worse.”

Jarrett was charged with one count of obstructing the legal process/interfering with a peace officer. He posted $300 bond and was released from the Hennepin County Jail early Thursday. He is scheduled to appear in court June 6.

Court records don’t list a defense attorney, and Jarrett did not return an email seeking comment. A person who answered the phone at Fox asked that The Associated Press call back for him at another time.

Jarrett hasn’t been on the air since mid-April. Fox News released a statement Thursday saying Jarrett “is dealing with serious personal issues at this time. A date at which Gregg might return to air has yet to be determined.”

A biography on the network’s website says Jarrett joined Fox in 2002 and is co-anchor of Fox News Channel’s America’s News HQ on weekends. Jarrett previously worked at MSNBC and for Court TV. He has a law degree.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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