Vincent Margera — better known as Don Vito to viewers of “Viva La Bam” — was arrested in Colorado on Friday and held on suspicion of two counts of sexual assault on a child, according to a spokesperson for Colorado’s Lakewood Police Department.
Margera, 50, is suspected of inappropriately fondling or groping 12- and 14-year-old girls during separate incidents at a signing event at Woodward Skatepark at the Colorado Mills mall in Lakewood, Colorado, Friday night. Because the incident involves sexual assault on a child, Lakewood Police spokesperson Steve Davis said he was unable to release much information, but said formal charges would be filed on Wednesday. In the meantime, Margera remains behind bars at the Jefferson County Jail, with no bail being offered, according to a jail spokesperson.
Davis said a cell-phone photo of the alleged crime has been taken into evidence and that the allegation that Margera inappropriately fondled or groped the girls was corroborated by enough witnesses for police to make the arrest. The authorities were tipped off to the alleged crime when someone other than the two juveniles called in to report it, Davis said, declining to elaborate on who made the call. In addition, Davis said Margera, who appeared intoxicated — results from a blood test are not yet available — allegedly made some “very ugly” remarks to the two female officers who arrested him.
The elder Margera, often the butt of pranks pulled by nephew Bam on the MTV series “Viva La Bam,” was frequently portrayed as mumbling unintelligibly and being quick-to-anger on the show. A spokesperson for the Margera family could not be reached for comment at press time.
Bam, a professional skateboarder, was not with his uncle during the signing, according to reports. Vincent Margera had come to Colorado to film promotional spots for the Web site ManiaTV.com, which broke news on the arrest. A spokesperson for ManiaTV said Margera had also been in town all week shooting material for “Don Vito TV,” a reality show the online TV network is planning to launch.
“When he was finished working for us, he had another deal to sign autographs at the skate park, so we drove him [to his hotel] and the next thing you know we got a call from [a 'Viva La Bam' staffer/producer] saying [Margera had been arrested],” ManiaTV spokesperson Jason Damata said.
One of the Web site’s reporters, Rob Talbert, spoke to Margera in jail over the weekend, according to a press release issued by Damata. Talbert described a “very serious and somber” Margera saying he signed autographs and took pictures with fans at the skate park, and 45 minutes after it ended was approached by police officers who asked him about the incident, which he denied.
“I then asked Don if he did it. He was very adamant about denying the allegations against him,” Talbert stated in the press release. “He said that if he molested [the girl], why would the mother stand there and take pictures of him doing it? He then said that this is the kind of thing people like him have to watch out for. He said people are always trying to pick fights with him so they can sue him and this is the same sort of thing.”
According to the press release, Margera asked Talbert if he remembered that when taking pictures with fans during the ManiaTV shoots, Margera would put his hands around guy’s necks like he was strangling them and drape his arm around girls’ shoulders and put his hand in front of their breast so it looked like he was grabbing them. Talbert said Margera would ask how old women were before he took pictures with them during the ManiaTV shoots.
[This story was originally published at 8:20 am E.T. on 08.21.2006]