For 67 people collared on crack-cocaine distribution charges Tuesday in Terrell, Texas, getting arrested must have been as surreal as it was disturbing. That's because karate champ-actor Chuck Norris--star of such beat-the-bejesus-out-of-felons-and-foreigners movie classics as Invasion U.S.A, Silent Rage, Forced Vengeance and the Missing in Action saga--was there to put on the cuffs.
Norris, who films his six-season-old CBS series, Walker, Texas Ranger, in nearby Dallas, has moonlighted as a reserve cop for the Terrell PD for two years now. On Tuesday, he did his part for the department's narcotics sting that culminated with a raid on three drug rings.
One understandably confused suspect, overcome by the bizarre nature of having a minor celebrity conduct his arrest, asked, "Is this a movie?" (Terrell police didn't say whether the 47-year-old Norris got to kick him in the face.) In any event, being available for Walker's inconvenient-to-the-unincarcerated Saturday evening time slot shouldn't be a problem for him now.
You might suspect the actor's drug-busting heroics would be tailor-made for a media stunt. But the mustachioed-actor's publicist, Paul Baker, was out of the office Wednesday, and Baker's assistants weren't much help: "We don't know too much about him," one admits.
Norris, a former Air Force karate champion, also made news two months ago when he sent a court order to some down-on-his-luck actor, trying to make him stop impersonating his Walker character in a Wisconsin car-dealership TV commercial.
The actor responded by sticking up a billboard in downtown Dallas that read, "Thanks to Chuck Norris, I am an unemployed commercial actor."
At least it's better than one that reads, "Thanks to Chuck Norris, I'm a convicted drug felon who watches Walker, Texas Ranger every Saturday night in the prison rec room."