Celebrity socialite Paris Hilton received no special treatment during her three-hour stay at the Clark County Detention Center following a Friday night drug arrest, Las Vegas police said.
Hilton, 29, was booked on a cocaine possession charge after being picked up on the Strip, and was later released without having to post bail.
Deputy Chief Jim Dixon, who oversees the jail, said Hilton’s short stay was not unusual. Because of crowding, the jail books and releases inmates who meet specific criteria, such as not having a record of violence, Dixon said. Of roughly 75,000 people booked last year, about a quarter were released on recognizance pending a later court appearance.
Dixon said Hilton was booked "like everyone else." The one exception: Like any celebrity, she was placed in isolation until her release.
Mixing Hilton with roughly 200 others being booked at the time could have put her in danger, he said.
"If you stick somebody in like her or somebody else who’s famous, all of a sudden it’s disruptive," Dixon said. "We’re under obligation to make sure that everybody is kept safe."
Dixon noted that O.J. Simpson was also separated from others when he was arrested three years ago, in part because of threats against him.
Hilton’s latest arrest came as her boyfriend, nightclub mogul Cy Waits, was arrested in connection with driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs by a Metropolitan Police Department motorcycle officer who said he smelled marijuana coming from Waits’ 2009 Cadillac Escalade on the Strip near the Wynn. Hilton was a passenger in the vehicle.
A crowd quickly gathered around the car after the 11:30 p.m. traffic stop, prompting officers to take Hilton into the hotel for privacy before she was taken to jail, officer Marcus Martin said.
The hotel chain heiress was arrested after she reached for some lip balm in her purse and "a small amount" of cocaine fell out in plain view of the officers, police said.
She was released from custody at about 2:45 a.m. Saturday, and less than an hour later her Twitter account was updated with a posting that said she was in bed watching the television show "Family Guy" before going to sleep. The posting made no mention of her arrest, and it was unclear if the tweets came from her, were posted by time-release or were sent by someone else.
If convicted of the low-grade felony, Hilton could get probation. Any violation of probation would be punishable by one to four years in Nevada state prison.
Clark County District Attorney David Roger declined comment Saturday about the case.
Hilton’s attorney, David Chesnoff, told The Associated Press on Saturday morning that he was still gathering facts about the arrest.
"This matter will be dealt with in the courts, not in the media, and I encourage people not to rush to judgment until all of the facts have been dealt with in a court of law," Chesnoff said later in a statement. "There will be no interviews and no more comments at this time."
Waits’ lawyer, Richard Schonfeld, said Waits posted $2,000 bail and was expected to be released Saturday.
Court appearance dates for Hilton and Waits were not immediately available.
Schonfeld said he was "troubled by the circumstances" leading to the arrest, but declined to specify his concerns.
"As the case proceeds, a lot of facts are going to come to light that will ultimately lead to exoneration," Schonfeld said.
A spokeswoman for Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
Waits and his twin brother, Jesse, are managing partners of the Tryst Nightclub inside Wynn Las Vegas, Drai’s after hours club at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, and XS The Nightclub at Wynn’s Encore resort. A spokeswoman for Harrah’s resorts declined comment.
Earlier this week, Hilton was in the news when a 31-year-old man tried to break into her Los Angeles home.
Authorities have said that someone carrying two big knives banged on Hilton’s window Tuesday. She posted a photo of the arrest on Twitter and described it as "scary." Nathan Lee Parada faces a felony burglary charge.
Hilton was arrested this summer after the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup match in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on suspicion of possession of marijuana. The case was dropped at a midnight court hearing.
Hilton pleaded no contest in 2007 to alcohol-related reckless driving and was sentenced to 45 days in jail. After spending about 23 days in jail, Hilton told CNN host Larry King that the experience caused her to re-evaluate the role partying played in her life. She said she wanted "to help raise money for kids and for breast cancer and multiple sclerosis."
While most famous for her tabloid exploits and reality TV series "The Simple Life," Hilton has appeared in the films "Bottoms Up," "The Hottie & the Nottie" and "House of Wax."
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact reporter Lawrence Mower at 702-383-0440 or email@example.com.