Crowe had just arrived in New York following a seven-hour flight from Manchester, England, where he had spent Sunday watching a boxing match between Kostya Tszyu and Ricky Hatton, to spend several days in the Big Apple promoting his new film Cinderella Man.
Crowe was arrested at 4:20am and charged with second-degree assault after allegedly throwing a telephone at the Mercer Hotel worker, who was treated at St Vincent's Hospital for a minor cut.
The Oscar-winning actor was reportedly desperate to phone his wife Danielle Spencer and 16-month-old son Charlie at home in Australia.
New York Police Department (NYPD) officer Michael Wysokowski says, "He was upset because he couldn't get a call out to Australia. He threw a phone at the employee hitting him in the face and causing a minor laceration."
Crowe hit the headlines twice in 2002 for his violent temper. At February's BAFTA Awards in London, he admitted to being "abusive" and "behaving unreasonably" towards the event's director Malcolm Gerrie, after he learnt Gerry had edited his Best Actor acceptance speech for broadcast.
The following November Crowe fought with fellow New Zealander, Eric Watson, in a London restaurant, although no police charges were filed.
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