A Santa Monica, California, judge ruled Monday that two paparazzi illegally chased down Arnold Schwarzenegger and wife Maria Shriver as they dropped off their young son at his school last May. The two shutterbugs boxed in the celeb couple's car and shot photographs of the surprised stars--this just after Schwarzenegger's open-heart surgery.
Judge Robert T. Altman will sentence Giles Harrison, 29, and Andrew O'Brien, 31, on February 23. Both defendants face up to two years in jail for the false-imprisonment convictions. Harrison faces an additional 90 days for reckless driving.
Earlier in the day, Shriver took the stand to describe the horror she felt during the incident. "You're like a caged animal. Both of these men [were] running across the street" to the school, she said. "My son was sitting in the car bewildered...I was terrified." (At the time, Shriver was pregnant with the couple's third child.)
Testifying in the non-jury trial Friday, Schwarzenegger described the experience as both terrifying and frustrating. Unable to move freely because of the post-operative stitches, and fearful his blood pressure would get so high as to kill him, the actor said he fought to keep himself and his wife calm as the paparazzi chased them through the streets of West Los Angeles. "I thought, This could be my last minute," the Terminator said.
The false-imprisonment conviction stems from the photographers using their two sport-utility vehicles to wedge in the celebrity couple's car, at one point even bumping into the Schwarzenegger's Mercedes.
The photogs' lawyers say the men--who both work for Splash, an international photo and video news agency--were just doing their jobs. "If this was the Associated Press, we wouldn't be here [in court] today," said Charles Linder.