On the CBS series Blue Bloods, hip-hop icon Eric B. conducts criminal investigations as Detective Mike Gee, but in real life, the DJ-turned-actor has found himself on the wrong side of the law.
Hip-hop musician Eric Barrier, currently an actor on the CBS series “Blue Bloods,” has been jailed in New Jersey since Oct. 28 on a warrant for failing to appear in court 17 years ago, his attorney told NJ Advance Media on Tuesday.
Barrier, 56, who was part of the legendary rap duo Eric B. & Rakim, became aware of a warrant for his arrest when questioned by state police in Vermont last month, according to the attorney, Patrick Toscano of Caldwell.
The circumstances surrounding the warrant are complicated, to say the least. In 2002, Eric B., born Eric Barrier, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and resisting arrest for an unspecified incident that occurred a year prior. After he failed to appear in court for his sentencing, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest—despite the fact that his attorney at the time, Paul Bergrin, told him his presence was not required.
“Mr. Bergrin told Mr. Barrier that his case was ‘dismissed’ because he was accepted into PTI (pre-trial intervention),” Patrick Toscano, Barrier’s current attorney, explained in a letter to the judge. “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.”
Barrier also claims that he never received any notice or warning from the court over his failure to appear.
As he awaits his fate from behind bars, the famed hip-hop producer is “overcome with anxiety” and deeply concerned that he will be relieved of his role on Blue Bloods, according to Toscano.
“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,” he wrote.
But there might be some light at the end of the tunnel, as Toscano has filed for a bail hearing on behalf of his client in hopes of arguing for Barrier’s release in Superior Court on Tuesday.