WHO SAYS WHITE MEN CAN'T JUMP?

Published on: June 12, 2002

In a real-life drama as entertaining as any of his movie roles, wild-man Woody Harrelson broke his way out of a speeding cab and ran through the streets of London with 14 cops in pursuit, and wound up charged with causing $500 worth of damage to the taxi.

A London cabbie says he picked up the wild-eyed Hollywood star at a trendy nightclub at 2 a.m. and the actor went nuts moments later.

"He freaked out in my cab just seconds after getting in -- then busted the door lock to jump out while I was still moving!" cabbie Les Dartnell told The ENQUIRER in an exclusive interview. "God knows what he was on. His eyes were glazed and he just kept shouting 'Let me out of this goddamn cab!'

"He went crazy, kicking out at the glass partition inches behind my head, kicking the door, ripping the ashtray off and hurling it at the partition. I put the central locking on so he couldn't get out and called the cops on my mobile. But before I knew it he pulled off the door lock mechanism, jumped out of the cab and took off like a rocket."

Woody dodged through the streets and hailed another cab, but angry Les trailed him and kept in touch with police by phone. Cop cars had joined the chase when, a few hundred yards from Woody's hotel, the actor jumped from the SECOND cab and went on the run again.

Sources say a total of 14 cops were involved before Woody was finally tackled by a pursuing officer and arrested on suspicion of causing up to $500 worth of damage to Les' cab. He was released on bail after a few hours at the police station and ordered to appear for a hearing July 1.

After the incident, wisecracking Woody told a London newspaper: "I have nothing but the most profound respect for London taxi drivers or anyone else who can navigate this city.

"I did accidentally pull a taxi's ashtray from the door which is unfortunate, because I also have a great deal of respect for ashtrays, and think they perform an important function in our society!"