The Rodent King has apparently ratted himself out.
Nearly a decade ago, 55-year-old Robert Hollywood made headlines following his arrest for keeping hundreds of rats and mice, dozens of them dead, in his Menlo Park home.
Apparently, Hollywood still doesn’t give a rat’s … about the law.
On Wednesday, prosecutors said, he pleaded no contest in another bizarre case in which last month he reportedly told a police officer that he was on probation and consented to a search. The only problem? Hollywood was not on probation, prosecutors said, and the cop who searched him allegedly found a small amount of methamphetamine and marijuana.
The incident unfolded Feb. 9 when police were patrolling Rolison Road in Redwood City, an area popular with drug users and also where Hollywood currently lives, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. The cops were making contact with people, Wagstaffe said, asking folks whether they were on probation or parole.
Hollywood reportedly claimed he was on probation and told them it was OK to search him, Wagstaffe said.
At the time of his arrest, Hollywood was dealing with a separate misdemeanor drug possession case and might have thought that meant he was on probation. But that case was still pending, Wagstaffe said.
Hollywood’s attorney did not respond to calls for comment as of press time.
In 2004, Hollywood was convicted of felony animal cruelty after more than 200 domesticated mice, 68 rats, two boa constrictors and a cat were reportedly found in his Colby Avenue home in Menlo Park. About 70 of the rodents were found dead and either stuffed in a freezer or in the garbage disposal.
Hollywood fled after his house was searched. He was not arrested until months later on the Stanford University campus –reportedly with three baby mice in his pockets.
Before his conviction, three doctors examined Hollywood and found him competent to stand trial.
But Wagstaffe said, “He is a very strange man.”
If convicted on the drug charges, Hollywood will be eligible under state law to receive drug treatment rather than a jail sentence, in part because he is a nonviolent offender.