The man who Gary Coleman ran over at a bowling alley has told RadarOnline.com he was saddened to hear the news of the actor’s death.
Colt Rushton, 26, sued the former Diff’rent Strokes star and his wife, Shannon Price, in 2008, after an incident in 2008, when the actor “could have killed” him.
The pint-sized Coleman tried to run him over in his truck at a bowling alley parking lot, when Rushton refused to pay him for a photo he had taken of the star on his cell phone.
“My heart goes out to his friends and family,” Rushton told RadarOnline.com, in an exclusive interview.
“I was upset at the time, but justice was served… I never had any deep, hard feelings toward the guy, I just wanted the courts to handle the incident.
“I had some pretty significant medical bills and it was important to have that compensated.”
Coleman settled for an undisclosed amount. He also pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge stemming from the incident.
Rushton recounted the incident to RadarOnline.com, which he said was sparked, in part, because of a “mad and out-of-control” Price.
While at a local bowling alley with his friends, he noticed Coleman and his party and took a couple of pictures of the actor with his camera phone.
He was later told by Coleman’s bodyguard that he could not take any more photos unless he paid $20 per photo fee.
“Gary didn’t like it at all and his wife, Shannon, ended up stealing my mobile phone,” explained Rushton.
“Before Gary got in his truck, he assaulted me and punched me in the face.
“Because he was such a little statue, I didn’t want to fight back. All I did was protect myself and try to hold the knocks down.”
Rushton said he asked for his phone back and offered to erase the pictures if they gave the phone back.
“He started the truck, cranked the wheel to the right, accelerated in reverse, ended up hitting me and knocked me three or four feet.”
Rushton said he suffered pain, lower back problems and a knee injury as a result of the incident.
Of the dramatic incident, Rushton said: “I was surprised Gary acted the way he did; he obviously had some anger issues that night.”
Despite living in the same small Utah district, Provo, Rushton said he never encountered the actor after the fateful night.
“I never got the privilege to,” he added.
“It’s sad that he has passed and I have nothing but best wishes for his family and friends.”