Alan Panettiere, the father of television actress Hayden Panettiere, was arrested early Monday morning, August 11 on suspicion of spousal abuse. The 49-year-old Panettiere is accused of hitting his wife, former soap opera actress Lesley Panettiere, 52, following a heated argument.
On Sunday evening, August 10 both Alan and Leslie attended a Hollywood charity benefit for the Whaleman Foundation hosted by their daughter at Eva Longoria's Beso restaurant in Hollywood. It was during the event that an onlooker claimed to have seen the parents argued. A partygoer testified, "When they were both about to leave, they had a heated argument outside the restaurant. They were doing a good amount of yelling."
Per TMZ, which was the first to report Alan's arrest, the couple had a heated argument and Alan went ballistic when he saw Leslie was "hanging" with an unidentified individual as he felt she was "disrespecting" him.
A sheriff's spokesman said that Alan then struck Lesley one or two times on the cheek with closed fist that caused bruises. "There was a domestic argument between the mother and father," Sgt. Scott Wolf of the West Hollywood sheriffs said. "He got upset and struck the mother in the face one or two times on the left cheek which caused some bruising. From what I'm told, he hit her with a closed fist."
Lesley called the police shortly before 3 A.M. to report on the incident. Authorities soon thereafter arrived at the family's West Hollywood home, took her statement and subsequently took Alan into custody upon noticing bruises on her face.
Sgt. Wolf said Alan was arrested on felony charge instead of a misdemeanor because "there were visible signs of injury" on Lesley's face. Alan himself is said to be "cooperative" during his arrest and was released from custody on $50,000 bail later that afternoon.
And while details of the encounter remain sketchy, other sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore has claimed "that alcohol was involved in the incident." Speaking of Alan's arrest, Hayden's representative offered no comment at all, simply saying "This is a private matter. We have no comment."