Continuing apace with his reputation as Hollywood's bad boy man pushing 50, the Los Angeles City Attorney's office today confirmed that Penn will face misdemeanor battery and vandalism charges stemming from his literal smackdown of a paparazzo last October.
The charges stem from a dustup with Jordan Dawes at the Brentwood Country Mart last fall. The shutterbug claimed that the two-time Oscar winner attacked him after spotting the cameraman taking snaps from roughly 50 feet away.
The story goes, Penn began shouting obscenities at the photog, one of many on the scene that day, vowing to "put [him] in a box," before proceeding to kick and punch both Dawes and his camera, apparently causing misdemeanor-worthy damage to both in the process.
The charges come several months after the Los Angeles District Attorney's office refused to file felony charges against the actor, saying that his actions, while far from gentlemanly, didn't exactly fall into its jurisdiction. The Los Angeles City Attorney clearly didn't feel the same.
Penn's arraignment has been set for March 22. If convicted, he faces up to 18 months in jail.
(Originally published Feb. 19, 2010, at 11:50 a.m. PT)
If Sean Penn promises to smile all pretty for the camera, we promise to add his high-profile hearing to our Court Appearances gallery.