"American Idol" Finalist's Violence Rap

Cops: Scott Savol roughed up ex-girlfriend during domestic dispute

Scott Savol

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American Idol Finalist's Violence Rap

MARCH 31--An "American Idol" finalist was once arrested for domestic violence after roughing up his infant son's mother during a Valentine's Day fracas, The Smoking Gun has learned.

According to police, 28-year-old Scott Savol, one of the remaining nine "Idol" contestants, was busted following a February 2001 confrontation with Michele Martin at the woman's Ohio home. A Shaker Heights Police Department report notes that the unmarried couple had decided to "split up their living arrangement," with Savol scheduled to move his belongings out of Martin's mother's home, where the duo lived with their three-week-old son Brandon.

But when Savol and his brother arrived at Martin's home, an argument ensued, with Savol calling Martin "several vulgar names." He then grabbed the woman's hand and pulled an engagement ring off her finger and "stated he was also going to take their son," cops reported.

When Savol "grabbed the baby," Martin "stopped him from taking the child by telling [Savol] that she was going to call 911." At that point, according to the police report, Savol shoved Martin, pulled a phone from her hand, and then threw it at Martin, striking her in the chest. "This caused the phone to break," the report notes. Savol and his brother then left the residence.

When officers arrived at her home, Martin told them that Savol had "made verbal threats to her in the past by telling her to 'watch her back.'" Martin, then 21, initially said she did not want Savol to be prosecuted, but rather sought a "restraining order on him." The following day, however, she signed a warrant for his arrest.

Savol eventually took a plea to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct rap and was fined $500, placed on a year's probation, ordered to complete a domestic violence or anger management program, and sentenced to a suspended 20-day jail term. [TSG initially incorrectly reported that the domestic violence charge was a felony. It was actually a fourth-degree misdemeanor.]

At a July 2001 sentencing hearing, Municipal Court Judge K.J. Montgomery also extended a temporary protective order (issued at Martin's request for her and the baby) through July 2002. Savol's rap sheet also includes a "no contest" plea to a 1995 misdemeanor trespass charge. He was arrested for entering Shaker Heights High School after being "warned both verbally and by letter" to stay out of the building.

In a Q&A on the official "Idol" web site, Savol stated that his son's birth was the proudest moment of his life, and that a personal goal was "to make sure my son doesn't have to struggle in life as I did." As for a "most embarrassing moment," Savol answered, "I don't have any." (6 pages)