VANCOUVER, B.C. – Actor Randy Quaid and his wife told Canada’s immigration board Friday they are seeking refuge in Canada because they are being persecuted in the United States, after they were arrested on U.S. warrants related to vandalism charges.
The pair were arrested on Thursday afternoon in a shopping area of an affluent Vancouver neighborhood.
The Quaids are wanted in Santa Barbara, Calif., where they missed a court hearing Monday on felony vandalism charges.
Evi Quaid begged a Canadian immigration adjudicator not to force them to return, saying on Friday that eight friends, such as actors David Carradine and Heath Ledger, have been “murdered” under mysterious circumstances and she’s worried something will happen to her husband next.
“We feel our lives are in danger,” she said.
Evi Quaid said she’s been told by a jail nurse that her blood pressure is dangerously high due to stress.
Friday’s hearing was a mandatory detention review. The Quaids were ordered released from custody Friday, but must each post $9,750 bail and fulfill their promise to appear for their next hearing Thursday.
Randy Quaid said they came to Canada because he was being given an award by a film critics group. He said the couple were considering moving to Vancouver where Randy planned to jump-start his career.
He said the pair believed the warrants were issued by mistake and had been withdrawn and the couple didn’t travel north in an effort to skip out on them.
They face no charges in Canada.
A U.S. judge issued arrest warrants Monday for the couple after they failed to show up at a California court hearing stemming from their arrests last month on suspicion of illegally squatting at a home.
Quaid and his wife face felony vandalism charges after more than $5,000 in damage was found in a guest house of a Montecito, Calif., home they had previously owned.
Randy Quaid, 60, is best-known for supporting roles in films such as “Independence Day” and “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” He is the older brother of Dennis Quaid.