Former Disney Channel Stars Who Have Been Arrested

It's a well-known trope at this point that former child stars often encounter difficulty transitioning from kid to adult roles. This often comes with bad press, and bad behavior that sees them hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. "Matilda" star Mara Wilson wrote an article for Cracked outlining several reasons why this happens, including trouble with their parents and potential sexual exploitation. In her docuseries with Oprah (per NDTV), Lindsay Lohan speculated that she was making way too much money as a young person, and that she was destined to spiral out of control because of that. She mentioned hating the fact that she was the poster child for the idea of a "child star gone wrong," insisting, "I hate that label and that title. That's not what I ever aspired to be."

No network mints more child stars than Disney, so it makes sense that the Mouse House has had their fair share of troubled alum. In addition to Lohan, who once led the cast of Disney Channel Original Movie "Get a Clue," there's "Even Stevens" star (and alleged abuser) Shia LaBeouf. The actor told Jon Bernthal on "Real Ones" in 2022 that the allegations against him going public helped him turn his life around. "I'm in the tribe of the f***-ups," he confessed. "I'm a very public sinner, a very fallible person in the public sphere." Read on for a look back at more Disney stars who have been arrested.

David Henrie brought a gun where it didn't belong

"Wizards of Waverly Place" star David Henrie played Justin Russo on the hit Disney Channel show for more than 100 episodes, according to IMDb. The show ended in 2012, and years later, Henrie found himself in hot water when he tried to bring a loaded gun through airport security at LAX in 2018. Variety reported that it was a big week for the actor; he had written a movie called "This Is The Year," which he was set to begin directing the very week he was nabbed by TSA agents for his weaponry (the movie was ultimately released in 2020).

After his legal troubles went public, Henrie apologized in a since-deleted tweet. "I am so sorry for any trouble it caused, but I am appreciative of TSA's efforts in implementing the safety laws that are in place to protect our beautiful country," he wrote. "More than anything I am humiliated and embarrassed that this even happened."

Henrie has since moved on from the incident and is busy raising a family. People reported in 2022 that he and his wife Maria Cahill had welcomed a third child. "Thank you to all the nurses out there we appreciate you," he wrote in an Instagram post announcing the birth.

Ronni Hawk was arrested for domestic violence

For several seasons of the Disney Channel's hit show "Stuck in the Middle," Ronni Hawk played Rachel, eldest daughter of the Diaz family. Rachel was written out of the show in its third season so that Hawk could join the cast of Netflix show "On My Block;" her Disney character flew off to Paris to go to college.

Several years after she left the Disney Channel, Hawk was arrested in 2020 for domestic violence. TMZ reported that cops had been called to a residence where they found Hawk's unnamed boyfriend with visible injuries, leading to Hawk's arrest. According to the outlet, her bail was set at $100K. Details of the resulting case do not seem to have been reported, and Hawk has continued to work; according to IMDb, she will appear in an upcoming film called "Girl with a Gun." 

Many fans had already turned on the actor, including launching a petition for her to be removed from "On My Block" due to her past tweets in support of Donald Trump. The show was canceled after airing four seasons, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Orlando Brown has had repeated run-ins with the law

Orlando Brown was a Disney Channel regular throughout the 2000s. He played Raven's lovable BFF Eddie on "That's So Raven," voiced Sticky Webb on "The Proud Family," and he starred in Disney Channel Original Movies like "Eddie's Million Dollar Cookoff." Unfortunately, Brown struggled to parlay his fame into adult stardom, and in the years since his Disney days ended, the "F*** My Fame" rapper has found himself on the wrong side of the law numerous times.

In 2018, Brown had several run-ins with police. According to TMZ, he was nabbed by bounty hunters in his underwear over failure to appear in court on domestic violence charges, picked up for drug possession and resisting arrest, and then arrested once more for failing to appear in court. He made a bizarre appearance on "Dr. Phil" that year to discuss his situation, telling the TV doc that he was the son of both Michael Jackson and Will Smith, according to People. "I think there's a real good chance that what you've been through has caused you to have some neurological disruptions," Dr. Phil cautioned him.

Brown's troubles continued in 2022, when he was arrested in Ohio after yet another domestic violence incident. According to Deadline, a relative of Brown's called the police on the former Disney star, claiming that he attacked them with a hammer. The Associated Press later reported that Brown pled "not guilty" to the charges.

Mitchel Musso took responsibility after his arrest

Mitchel Musso starred in 89 episodes of "Hannah Montana" as the titular character's best friend Oliver Oken. He was only 14 when the show began, according to IMDb. Years later, while the show was still on air, a 20 year old Musso ran into some legal trouble when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. TMZ reported that the actor, who also starred on the Disney Channel's "Phineas and Ferb," failed to stop at an unrelated incident for cops who were directing traffic. They pulled him over and could smell alcohol, at which point he failed a sobriety test. In addition, considering he was underage and shouldn't have been drinking at all, he was arrested.

A few months later, E! News reported that Musso had taken a plea deal. Pleading "no contest" allowed him to receive 36 months of probation rather than the six months in jail he was otherwise facing. The actor released a statement to the outlet about the situation, reflecting, "In becoming an adult, I have learned first hand that stepping up and taking responsibility is the best way to move forward. I am especially thankful to my family and fans for their unwavering support and encouragement."

Drunk driving, Debby Ryan?

Debby Ryan was one of the biggest Disney Channel stars to emerge in the 2010s. She starred on hit sitcom "Jessie," playing the titular character, and she also led the casts of such Disney Channel Original Movies as "Radio Rebel" and "16 Wishes." Her time on "Jessie" ended when the show wrapped in 2015, and the following year, Ryan became yet another former Disney Channel star to have a run-in with authorities. TMZ reported that the actor was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after she caused a crash late one night in Los Angeles.

Ryan apologized on twitter in a since-deleted tweet. "I wish I had used better judgement," she wrote. "I recognize that I am a role model and have always worked hard to set a good example for my millions of fans. I am so sorry to disappoint everyone." Ultimately, the "Insatiable" star was sentenced to three years of probation after taking a plea deal, according to TMZ. Thanks to the arrangement, she managed to avoid jail time.

Another DUI: Zenon's Kirsten Storms

Before she went on to be a long-running star of iconic soap opera "General Hospital," Kirsten Storms was best known to millennial fans of the Disney Channel as "Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century." In a series of Disney Channel Original Movies that also starred Raven Symone, Storms played a spunky girl who lived aboard a spacecraft that orbited the Earth.

The final "Zenon" movie aired in 2004, and a few years later, Storms found herself in a storm of trouble with police. In 2007, according to People, cops initially stopped the actor for throwing a cigarette out the window of her car. After stopping and speaking with her, they realized something more was going on, and they arrested the former "Days of Our Lives" star on suspicion of DUI after she failed a sobriety test.

She ultimately pled no contest to the charge, per People. Thanks to that plea deal, she only received a sentence of 36 months probation. She also had to pay fines totaling $1,643, and she had to agree to attend meetings through Alcoholics Anonymous.

Adam Hicks' crime spree got him locked up

Actor Adam Hicks is best known to fans of the Disney Channel as Wen from "Lemonade Mouth," one of the main kids in the band. He also starred on "Zeke and Luther," a show about two friends who skateboard. Several of his "Lemonade Mouth" stars have gone on to mainstream success, like Hayley Kiyoko and Naomi Scott; Hicks, on the other hand, has seen his career derailed by a situation that involved police.

Hicks' legal troubles began in 2017, according to TMZ, who reported that he was arrested twice that year for firing a gun and for battery; both cases were dismissed. In 2018, NBC News reported that Hicks was arrested and charged for a spree of robberies. Hicks and his girlfriend Danni Tamburo allegedly committed three armed robberies in Burbank, California in the span of two hours, stealing cash, cell phones, and jewelry from their victims. According to the Orange County Register, Hicks' bail was set at $550,000, which he failed to meet.

The Sun revealed in 2021 that Hicks had been sentenced to five years in prison for his offenses. Less than a year later, TMZ noted that the actor was already out on parole. Later that year, he released a music video for "Chosen One," a song about his time behind bars. "Now they're seeing that I'm back up in the streets / And everybody f***in' with me / I'm the chosen one," he rapped.

Jail time for Chris Tavarez

Chris Tavarez first came to the attention of Disney Channel viewers when he starred in the original movie "Avalon High," alongside a cast that included stars like Britt Robertson and Gregg Sulkin. He went on to be a recurring cast member on the second and third seasons of "KC Undercover," playing Darien opposite future "Euphoria" megastar Zendaya.

While he was still on the Disney Channel hit, Tavarez was convicted of "spousal battery" in 2019, according to TMZ. His punishment included a yearlong Domestic Violence Treatment Program, a fine, and 180 days behind bars. Two years later, he was arrested again on felony domestic violence charges. He allegedly shoved his girlfriend during an argument, causing her to hit her head. TMZ noted that the incident occurred a week after the actor's 27th birthday.

Ultimately, Tavarez was given a five-year prison sentence, which was reduced to a mere 300 days in jail, per TMZ. He also received credit for time served, leaving him with less than 150 days behind bars for the altercation. According to IMDb, he hasn't had any film or television projects since his arrest.

Stoney Westmoreland went to prison for two years

Stoney Westmoreland played Ham Mack on the Disney Channel's hit sitcom "Andi Mack." The show was about a young girl who discovers that the person she believed to be her older sister is actually her mother, making her parents actually her grandparents. Westmoreland's character was actually the titular character's grandfather.

In 2018, the actor was arrested and charged with trying to lure a minor for sex, according to Fox News. A Disney rep told the outlet that he had been fired from the show on the same day as his arrest. "Given the nature of the charges and our responsibility for the welfare of employed minors, we have released him from his recurring role and he will not be returning to work on the series," they explained.

It turned out that Westmoreland had allegedly tried to convince a person police said he thought was a 13 year old boy on Grindr to meet up for sex, according to TMZ. In actuality, the person was an undercover officer pretending to be underage, and Westmoreland has insisted that he thought the whole conversation was just roleplay. In 2022, he was sentenced to two years in lockup and ten years of supervised release.

Kelli Berglund left Coachella in cuffs

For many young stars, Coachella is an exciting opportunity. Not only do they get to see some of the hottest musical acts on the planet, but they have a chance to make headlines. Their eccentric outfits, enviable Instagram posts, and even their sponsored brand opportunities all grab the attention of fans following the fest from afar. Unfortunately for "Lab Rats" star Kelli Berglund, though, her 2016 trip to Indio made the news for all the wrong reasons.

Berglund was only 20 at the time, and it appears she wanted to get into an age-restricted section of the festival. Hoping to fool security guards, she allegedly tried to pass off a fake ID, perhaps forgetting that she'd spent the last few years acting on the Disney Channel. According to TMZ, she was arrested and was given a citation for her crime.

The star of "Heels" seems to have made the most of her weekend anyway. "Thanks for the love coachella 2k16!," she wrote on Twitter, adding a prayer-hands emoji. A fan pondered, "didn't u get arrested for having a fake id tho." Berglund did not respond.

Billy Unger's Malibu mistake

Kelli Berglund wasn't the only star of Disney XD's "Lab Rats" to make headlines for a run-in with police. Billy Unger also starred on the show, playing Chase Davenport for nearly 100 episodes of the show. He was also a Disney Channel regular, stopping in for episodes of hits like "A.N.T. Farm," "Mighty Med," and "Kickin' It."

In 2014, right in the middle of the run of "Lab Rats," the child star was arrested in Malibu on suspicion of DUI. Police breathalyzed him and discovered that his blood alcohol content was at the legal limit, but there was only one problem: Unger was merely 18, well under the legal drinking age. Consequently, TMZ reported that he was arrested for underage drinking.

"Great now they will either replace him on #LabRats or cancel it," one fan fretted on Twitter. That didn't happen; instead, the show finished its initial run, and Unger even reprised his character on spinoff show "Lab Rats: Elite Force."

Devan Leos was charged with attempted murder

Many Disney Channel stars find themselves on the wrong side of the law over substance-related incidents like drug possession or driving under the influence. Not so for Devan Leos, who starred on "Mighty Med," a show about a hospital for people with superpowers. In late 2018, several years after his show on Disney ended, the actor was charged with attempted murder after, allegedly, intentionally trying to run over an unhoused man with his car.

TMZ reported that the actor, who hasn't acted since an episode of "Criminal Minds" in 2016, managed to avoid jail time by taking a plea deal. Leos insisted that the other man tried to attack him first, kicking his car; in exchange, Leos aimed the car at the man, hopped it over the curb, and knocked him down. That was apparently good enough for the court, who sentenced him to five years of probation and community service working at a homeless shelter.

When the news of his plea deal broke, Leos took to social media to tell his side of the sordid story. "What do you want me to do?" he wrote on his Instagram Stories, via Metro. "Yes I should have ran away but when you're in that moment and the adrenaline's pumping and you're in fight or flight and your brains in fight mode... I'm sorry, it's called PTSD people."

Kyle Massey sent explicit messages to a minor

Orlando Brown wins the award for the "That's So Raven" star with the longest rap sheet, but he's not the only one. Kyle Massey played Raven's younger brother Cory on the hit sitcom. The character was so popular that Massey got his own spinoff, leading the cast of the Washington, DC-set, "Cory in the House." He also starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie "Life is Ruff," about his comic book-loving character adopting a dog.

In 2019, People reported that the former Disney star had been sued for allegedly exchanging sexually-explicit messages with a minor. The alleged victim was a 13-year old girl he had known since she was only 4. A few days later, he released a statement to the magazine, insisting, "No child should ever be exposed to sexually explicit materials and I unequivocally and categorically deny any alleged misconduct." 

The lawsuit was eventually dropped, but several years later, Massey was criminally charged for the incident. The Seattle Times reported that he failed to appear at his arraignment. In a statement to TMZ, Massey's lawyer insisted that the whole situation was nothing more than an extortion attempt. Massey, his lawyer said, "intends to aggressively defend these accusations again and will seek civil damages from those that refuse to hear the facts."

Lalaine was arrested for drug possession

When Lalaine starred as Lizzie's BFF Miranda on "Lizzie McGuire," the character was a fan favorite. It was a surprise, then, when she failed to turn up in the theatrically-released "The Lizzie McGuire Movie." Her absence was such a glaring omission, in fact, that even people like Jimmy Fallon have remarked on it. "I went to see the Lizzie McGuire Movie on opening night and I was disappointed that Miranda wasn't in it," he wrote on Twitter a decade after the movie's release.

While her co-star Hilary Duff went on to a big career after the show, Lalaine's star faded. She was arrested for possession of meth back in 2007, though she mostly kept things out of the press until they were leaked to TMZ. The outlet posted her charging documents, which revealed that she had made $10,000 bail but then had a $50,000 bench warrant issued for her arrest when she didn't turn up in court. Ultimately, the "Easy A" star pled guilty, and she entered a drug treatment program in exchange for having her record expunged. Lalaine seems to be doing better these days. In 2020, she returned to acting and starred in a film called "Definition Please," according to IMDb.