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Man attacks Bay with air conditioner

A man attacked director Michael Bay with an air conditioner on the Hong Kong set of “Transformers: The Age of Extinction” on Thursday.

A statement the studio released described “a bizarre encounter with a man allegedly under the influence of a narcotic substance.”

“The man, who had earlier accosted several other crew members, rushed onto the set in Quarry Bay and swung the air conditioning unit directly at Bay’s head,” the statement said. “The director ducked and wrested the air conditioner from his attacker, preventing what could have been a serious accident. The company’s security team quickly stepped in and subdued the assault.”

The police arrested the man and two of his companions and the production immediately resumed filming without further incident, according to Paramount.

Several news reports said that the attacker had demanded a large sum of money from Bay. When asked about those accounts, a Paramount spokeswoman replied that she “cannot speak to that at this time.”

Bay, 48, and his the cast and crew had just moved the production to Hong Kong this week after 4 1/2 months of filming in Arizona, Utah, Texas, Michigan, Illinois and Washington.

Law & Order retires iconic character

On Wednesday night’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Detective John Munch, played by Richard Belzer, retired. And in a fitting send-off the fictional cops of New York’s 16th Precinct threw him a roast.

Belzer’s time playing the perpetually sunglasses-wearing detective is unique in broadcast television, in that he’s played the same character on 10 TV shows across five channels and 20 years.

While Belzer’s run ties with Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane and James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon on “Gunsmoke” for longest portrayal of a single character on TV, the breadth of Belzer’s appearances sets him in a league of his own.

Belzer was known primarily as a stand-up comedian when he was cast as a detective in the highly acclaimed NBC police drama “Homicide: Life on the Street.” The show debuted in 1993 and aired for seven seasons. He joined the cast of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in 1999 after “Homicide” ended and has played Munch there for 15 seasons.

To commemorate Munch’s retirement, NBC has released the extended version of the Munch roast.

The birthday bunch

Rock-and-roll performer Chuck Berry is 87. Actress Dawn Wells is 75. Actor Joe Morton is 66. Actress Pam Dawber is 63. Actor Jean-Claude Van Damme is 53. Actress Erin Moran is 53. Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis is 52. Actor Zac Efron is 26.


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U.S. Gulf Coast prepares as Alberto brings wind, rain north

UPDATED: 9:03 p.m.

Florida and Mississippi launched emergency preparations Saturday ahead of the arrival of Subtropical Storm Alberto, a slow-moving system expected to cause wet misery across the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast over the holiday weekend.