Police issue statement on Drew Barrymore’s alleged stalker following arrest

Police have issued a statement after a man was arrested for allegedly stalking actor and TV presenter Drew Barrymore.

The man, 43-year-old Chad Michael Busto of Washington, DC, had attempted to rush the stage while Barrymore was speaking at a New York City panel event earlier this week.

Busto was detained by police in New York’s Southampton Town area on Thursday (24 August).

The local police department issued a statement with further details on the arrest.

“Patrol officers had previously made contact with Busto, while investigating a 911 call of a suspicious person, during the afternoon hours of 23 August,” it read. “Busto was located in the Village of Sagaponack, Town of Southampton.”

Before the arrest, Busto had allegedly been travelling around the neighbourhood on a bicycle and telling local residents that he was searching for Barrymore’s home.

“He was suspected of stalking Ms Barrymore due to previous incidents involving the actor,” the police spokesperson stated. “After a brief detainment for questioning by responding officers, Busto was released, and appeared to have left the area.”

Following the encounter, the patrol officers notified the police’s detective division, who conducted a follow-up investigation.

Drew Barrymore pictured in 2022 (Getty Images for Albie Awards)
Drew Barrymore pictured in 2022 (Getty Images for Albie Awards)

“Their investigation led to facts that substantiated a charge for Stalking and a wanted flyer was distributed to neighboring agencies,” the statement continued.

“During the afternoon of August 24th, East Hampton Town Police located the suspect, took him into custody and subsequently turned him over to Southampton Town Police detectives for arrest processing. Busto was charged with Stalking in the 4th degree, a class ‘B’ misdemeanor. Busto will be held overnight to appear in Southampton Town Justice Court at morning arraignment.”

On Monday evening (21 August), Barrymore was being interviewed by singer and actor Renée Rapp for an event at Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y venue.

While she was speaking, a man approached the stage, yelling, “Drew Barrymore! I’m Chad Michael Busto. You know who I am. I need to see you at some point while you’re in New York…”

At this point, security intervened, and escorted the man away, while Rapp walked Barrymore offstage.

The Independent has contacted Barrymore’s representative for comment.