Chad Michael Busto, the man who delivered an unsettling message to Drew Barrymore from the crowd at a 92nd Street Y event in New York earlier this week, has been arrested on suspicion of stalking.
The 43-year-old resident of Washington, D.C. was arrested on Thursday at 11:59 p.m. local time by the Southampton Town Police and is facing a misdemeanor charge of stalking in the fourth degree, according to a press release sent by Lt. Todd Spencer, a spokesperson for the department. Busto is being held overnight and is set to appear in Southampton Town Justice Court at morning arraignment.
The arrest comes just a day after the Southampton PD detained Busto following a 911 call regarding a suspicious person in the Village of Sagaponack, Town of Southampton. Busto allegedly rode a bicycle into private driveways, where he told area residents he was looking for Barrymore’s residence on Wednesday. Officers detained him briefly the same day for questioning, and was released.
As part of a follow-up investigation, the detective division was notified of Busto’s conduct and, coupled with previous incidents, “led to facts that substantiated a charge for stalking,” according to a spokesperson from the department. Wanted fliers were distributed to neighboring agencies as part of the investigation, and on Thursday afternoon, East Hampton Town Police located Busto, taking him into custody before turning him over to Southampton Town Police for arrest processing.
On Monday night, Barrymore was escorted off the stage during a 92nd Street Y event tied to the release of new music from fellow actress Reneé Rapp, held as part of the Recanati-Kaplan Talks series. Only a few minutes after Barrymore and Rapp had settled into their seats on the stage at the Upper East Side event space, Busto shouted the talk show host’s name before briskly walking down the aisle toward the front of the theater.
After Barrymore, whose vision was obstructed, gave a quick hello while looking out into the crowd, Busto responded, “You know who I am. I need to see you at some point while I’m in New York.” Rapp quickly stood and walked in front of Barrymore before putting her arm around the actress and escorting her off the stage. A member of the venue’s security team then removed Busto, then in the front row of the auditorium, from the theater.
Following the disturbance, Rapp and Barrymore returned to the stage and briefly referenced the incident before continuing with the planned event. “I have a new definition of your sexiness. It’s that level of protectiveness,” Barrymore said in response to Rapp’s swift action. “OK, so what were we talking about?”
No reports were filed concerning the Monday night incident, according to the New York Police Department.