SANTAQUIN, Utah – Gary Coleman, who makes it no secret that he likes his privacy and wants to be left alone, chose to settle in small-town Utah — far away from the paparazzi and autograph seekers of his former life as a TV star.
But a rocky romance, a prescription pill overdose and sometimes contentious interactions with the public have brought him unwanted attention here, where public records show a pattern of Coleman involving police in his personal life.
Officers have been called to assist or intervene with Coleman 21 times since he moved to Utah in fall 2005, according to police reports — including a July 2007 call where Coleman told authorities he had taken dozens of Oxycontin pills, was suicidal and "wanted to die."
"Gary ... was upset that his girlfriend was breaking up with him. He calmed down and was cooperative and acknowledged he took approx(imately) 30-40 Oxycontin pills. He said he is suicidal and 'wanted to die,'" according to a police report.
Coleman could not be reached for comment. His phone number is unlisted, nobody answered a call button at his home and messages left with Coleman's agent and an attorney were not immediately returned.
Coleman, 40, has acknowledged attempting suicide in the past, saying in a 1993 television interview he had tried to kill himself twice by overdosing on pills.
In April of this year, police were called to Coleman's home because they were told he was having marital problems and threatened to harm himself, although police didn't find him suicidal.
Documents show Coleman has long had a tumultuous relationship with his now-wife, Shannon Price, 23. The two met in Utah on the set of the 2006 comedy, "Church Ball."
In January 2007, Coleman called police because he was worried Price was going to bring her three brothers to confront him following an argument they had. Then in July of that year, he exploded at Price in a clinic parking lot in Provo.
"Coleman was yelling and pounding his steering wheel for approximately 10 minutes before he jumped out of his truck. He ran out in front of his truck and around to the woman's door, stopping several cars, and then he went to his door and was running around, yelling and screaming and throwing his arms in the air as he did," the police report says. "Coleman was yelling that he could not take it anymore."
The report says Price felt threatened and was worried things were going to "get out of control they way they did earlier." The 4-foot-8 actor was charged with disorderly conduct and eventually placed on probation.
One month later, Coleman whisked Price, who is 5-foot-7, to a Nevada mountaintop to wed.
In October 2007, Price told police Coleman threw an object at her that caused a small scrape on her hand, although she couldn't say whether it was intentional and police didn't trust either of their stories after going over the domestic violence statute.
"I could not develop enough probable cause to make an arrest," the police report says.
Coleman also worries that people are trying to break into his home, which has a privacy wall and is partially fenced, according to police reports. He has called police, saying he found a window open and, on another occasion, when he heard a noise that turned out to be fallen boxes in his basement. Once, he called because there was mud on his car, presumably some kind of drywall residue.
Coleman's most recent involvement with the law was a September dustup with a fan taking his photo at a local bowling alley which resulted in Coleman pleading no contest Dec. 2 to a disorderly conduct charge.