Police detained a man who tried to grab the boyfriend of socialite Paris Hilton as the couple arrived at a court to give evidence against a man accused of an attempted break-in at her home.
A photographer and reporters interviewing the couple saw the man appear to get a hand on the neck of Cy Waits before being seized by a bodyguard and taken away.
James Rainford, 36, was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanour battery on a person in connection with the incident outside court and was being held on $12,000 (€8,000) bail.
The incident happened as Hilton and Waits were walking into a Superior Court building in Van Nuys, California, to testify against Nathan Parada, 31, who is charged with attempted first-degree felony burglary.
Hilton later posted on her Twitter account that a “psycho intruder just punched Cy in the back of the head as we were walking into the court house”.
Hilton and Waits told the court about being woken by a man banging on a window at her home last August. They left the court without further incident.
Detective Kevin Romine told the court Parada told him and his partner that he had left a halfway house in California several days before going to Hilton’s home with the intention of robbing it.
Parada told police he found the Hollywood Hills house after purchasing a map of stars’ homes then stayed outside for several hours before going to a back window and pounding on it with the butt of a knife, Det Romine said.
During his interview, Parada told detectives that he planned to steal whatever her could carry, sell it and move to a deserted island, the officer said.
He said Parada also told police that he had not taken his antidepressant medication for several days before going to Hilton’s home.
Parada, he said, knew there was at least one person inside but did not plan to hurt anyone.
Police were told Hilton’s home was targeted because she was famous and from a rich family, Det Romine said.
Deputy District Attorney Kaveh Faturechi said he expected to conclude his case today. Parada could face a maximum of three years in prison if convicted.