Celebrity

'Mission: Impossible' Star Reveals He Was Held At Gunpoint In His Own Home

It's not uncommon to hear about celebrities and their homes being the targets of burglaries, which is why when police were called to Mission: Impossible star Ving Rhames's home, they were armed and ready to take down a suspect.

Rhames's neighbor was the one who called 911 to report that a "large black man" was entering the actor's Santa Monica home to presumably rob it.

Little did they know that the man they saw was the homeowner himself.

Instagram/ Tom Cruise

The 59-year-old recounted the incident while on Sirius XM's The Clay Cane Show, and the toll it took on him.

Rhames said he was watching ESPN while "wearing only basketball shorts" when he heard a knock. Upon opening the door, police officers greeted him with a 9mm gun to his face and ordered him to put up his hands.

The action star recalled being taken outside and surrounded by four armed officers, a police captain, as well as a police dog.

"So here I am in my own home, alone in some basketball shorts," Rhames told the radio station. "Just because someone called and says 'A large black man is breaking in,' when I opened up the wooden door, a 9mm is pointed at me."

He explained that the situation could've easily escalated had one of the policemen not recognized him. The officer didn't immediately realize that Rhames was an actor, but he remembered  him from a time when their children played sports together during a basketball game.

“He said to me, ‘A woman called 911 [and] said a large black man was breaking into the house. And so we came,’ ” Rhames said.

An official statement on the Santa Monica Police Department's Facebook page confirmed that the incident did indeed take place, but contrary to Rhames' claims that it happened this year, they said it occurred on July 29, 2016.

On July 29, 2016 at about 1:52 p.m., Santa Monica Public Safety Dispatch received several calls from residents of a possible residential burglary in the 800 block of 23rd Street in Santa Monica.

The reporting parties indicated a black male was seen entering a residence and did not live there. Officers from the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) responded to the area with the information available to them.

Within minutes, officers arrived at the residence. As officers were assessing the residence, they encountered the resident at the front door. Officers recognized the resident and the situation was quickly de-escalated with no use of force occurring. The resident was identified as Ving Rhames.

The police did apologize, but the ordeal left Rhames with a lot of "what ifs," especially when he thinks about his son, who could've been home at the time the cops were called.

“My problem is, as I said to them, ‘What if it was my son and he had a video game remote or something and you thought it was a gun’, just like Trayvon had a bag of Skittles.”

The actor is referring to Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American from Florida, who was fatally shot by a man named George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer.

Martin's death, along with other killings of unarmed black men, have recently caused a lot of fear and anger within the African-American communities.

Rhames' story sounds familiar because it has happened to another famous African-American man. Henry Louis Gates Jr., a prominent scholar, was arrested in 2009 after someone called 911 while he was trying to get into his house.

Santa Monica PD revealed that after the Rhames incident, they launched a program called Meet Your Neighbors "to address situations such as this."

"The program was designed to encourage neighbors to step out of their comfort zones and get to know each other over coffee, ice cream or block party," the statement continued. "The Santa Monica Police Department encourages neighbors to become familiar with each other to avoid similar situations."

Hopefully initiatives like Meet Your Neighbors will actually work in preventing incidents like this from happening to someone else.

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.