Blue Bloods actor Eric Barrier was arrested last month on a 17-year-old New Jersey warrant.
The 54-year-old rapper-turned-actor, who was previously a member of the Long Island rap duo Eric B. & Rakim, was been jailed in Bergen County in New Jersey on Oct. 28, when he was arrested on a bench warrant from March 2002, his attorney Patrick Toscano said. He was only recently released.
Barrier, who is better known as Eric B., appeared on Blue Bloods on the CBS drama’s October 18 episode, “Another Look,” as Danny Reagan’s (Donnie Wahlberg) friend, Detective Mike Gee.
The warrant was issued when Barrier failed to attend a sentencing hearing after pleading guilty to resisting arrest and aggravated assault in January of that year, NJ.com reports. Barrier claims the no-show was at the direction of his attorney at the time, Paul Bergrin, who has since been convicted to prison for life on more than two dozen criminal counts, including murder, cocaine trafficking, racketeering and other crimes.
In a hearing on Tuesday afternoon in Bergen County Superiour Court in Hackensack, Judge James Guida ordered Barrier to pay $5,443.53 to Ridgefield Park as restitution before he could be released from jail, according to court records.
Barrier wrote to judge on Nov. 6 in calling for an emergency hearing after Barrier was jailed that Bergrin told him he didn’t have to attend the sentencing hearing because he’d entered a pretrial diversion program, according to his new attorney.
“When Mr. Barrier asked Mr. Bergrin if he was sure of that, Mr. Bergrin advised him that he definitely did not need to appear, and that Mr. Bergrin would be in court on that date to handle everything for him,” the letter states.
“Mr. Barrier advised me further that he never received any notice at any time regarding his failure to appear,” Toscano wrote. “Indeed, he is a highly public figure and currently is a cast member on the television show ‘Blue Bloods’ and is easily reachable at all times,” Toscano wrote, putting the blame on Bergrin’s “fraudulent, unethical and deceptive” counsel.
Barrier had allegedly only learned of the bench warrant against him a few weeks ago when he was questioned by Vermont State Police. He reportedly contacted the courts and returned to New Jersey, where he was jailed.
Toscano said he met with Barrier Wednesday and that the actor “was literally at wits end and overcome with anxiety.” “He advised me that his role on ‘Blue Bloods’ will be compromised and he will likely have his contract voided if he is not released from the (jail) at this time to explain this entire situation to his producers/directors,” Toscano wrote.