Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Village People

The former lead singer of the Village People was arrested in South San Francisco.

Yes, they arrested the cop:

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) -- Victor Willis, the original policeman in the 1970s disco band the Village People, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to drug possession and giving false identification to a police officer.

His arrest Sunday ended a five-month search for the former hitmaker.

Willis, 54, was pulled over by a South San Francisco police officer for a routine traffic stop but was arrested after cocaine and drug paraphernalia was found in his car, Lt. Jeff Azzopardi said.

The officer did not immediately recognize Willis, who was the subject of a bench warrant after failing to appear at his sentencing hearing on drug and weapons charges in October, police said.

Both Willis and his companion, Staci Brandt, who also was wanted for a parole violation, initially gave false names to the officer, Azzopardi said. Willis was later identified through fingerprints.

Brandt also pleaded not guilty to the same charges Tuesday.

Both are scheduled to return to court on April 10.

Last July, Willis was arrested in Daly City for possessing cocaine. He agreed to a plea bargain that would have resulted in a prison term of no more than 16 months, but he never showed up for sentencing. His bail jumping now gives a judge the right to impose the maximum four-year, four-month sentence.

A new sentencing date for that case has not been set, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Willis, who co-wrote such hits as "YMCA" and "In the Navy," left the Village People in 1980. His case was first featured on the television crime show "America's Most Wanted" in December.

For those who are, shall we say, deficient on their Village People trivia, rotten.com is here to help.

Here is Victor Willis' bio from that page:

Victor Willis

(b. 1952)

The Policeman

Victor Willis performed lead vocals for the Village People from 1977 to 1980.

In the late seventies, he was married to actress Phylicia Rashad - better known as Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show.

He indulged in a generous hit of freebase prior to each performance, prompting a meeting among the producers. They replaced Willis with Ray Simpson.

Willis was arrested in February of 1997, charged with robbery and cocaine possession.

MARRIED TO PHYLICIA RASHAD??? And did you note the FEMALE companion in the arrest story?

Why has there never been a movie of the week about the Village People's coke-guzzling, woman-loving, cop-impersonating lead singer?