DOCUMENT: Celebrity

Terrence Howard's Fists Of Fury

Actor, a Chris Brown supporter, was once nabbed for beating wife

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Terrence Howard's Fists Of Fury

FEBRUARY 17--After Chris Brown's arrest for assaulting his girlfriend Rihanna, the actor Terrence Howard chose to salute the alleged batterer. "It's just life, man. Chris is a great guy. He'll be alright," said Howard. "And Rihanna knows he loves her, you know? They'll be alright."

Though Howard would later apologize for his remarks, the star's own rap sheet offers an explanation as to why he would jump to the side of an accused domestic abuser. Police and court records reveal that Howard, 39, was once arrested for a similar crime, the details of which have not been previously reported.

The actor, who co-starred in "Iron Man" and was nominated in 2006 for an Academy Award for his role in "Hustle & Flow," was arrested by Pennsylvania cops in September 2001 for assaulting his estranged wife.

According to a Whitemarsh Police Department report, after Howard and Lori McCommas argued on the phone, the actor warned, "Don't disrespect me by hanging up on me or I'll come over and hurt you." McCommas then "hung up and contacted 911 fearing Howard was serious."

While McCommas was speaking with a police dispatcher, Howard "showed up at the victim's residence and began breaking the door down." McCommas ran to the rear of the house and into the backyard. Howard then "broke the front door down and ran through the screen door in the kitchen. Howard then grabbed the victim's left arm and punched her twice with a closed fist in the left side of the face."

The attack was broken up by Howard's brother, who responded to McCommas's house after he "saw Howard storm out of their house to go to the victim's house." When a Whitemarsh cop responded to the scene, Howard admitted, "I broke the door down and hit my wife." A second officer noted there was "fresh damage to the front door and marks on the victim's face and arm from being struck."

Police evidence photos show the damage Howard did to the doors in McCommas's residence.

After being charged with a variety of crimes (simple assault, terroristic threats, harassment and stalking), Howard subsequently pleaded guilty in 2002 to disorderly conduct. The actor is pictured here in Whitemarsh Police Department mug shots. (7 pages)