Ex-Fox Anchor Was Arrested Twice in One Night, Police Say
Frank Somerville was previously let go from his position at Fox-affiliate KTVU.
News anchors have been making their own headlines lately—and Frank Somerville, a former anchor for Fox-affiliate KTVU in Oakland, California, is just the latest to make waves. Somerville is no stranger to the spotlight, thanks to his 2021 driving under the influence (DUI) charge and a viral clip of him slurring his words during a newscast. The ex-anchor spoke out about the incidents and his battle with addiction less than three months ago, marking his first TV appearance since the DUI. But while he hoped for a second chance, the tides have turned yet again, as the latest string of events landed Somerville in jail twice in one night. Read on to find out more about the former anchor's back-to-back arrests.
The first arrest followed a "family altercation."
At 6:36 p.m. on Monday, June 5, police responded to a "family altercation" at a home in Berkeley, California, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a news release from Berkeley police.
According to the release, Somerville had shown up to his parents' home while intoxicated. He was reportedly asked to leave by his family members, and after he threatened his 91-year-old father, Somerville got into a physical fight with his younger brother, police told The Berkeley Scanner.
Somerville was arrested on suspicion of criminal threats, battery, public intoxication, and probation violation, police said. He was taken to the Berkeley jail and was later released. However, he wasn't out of custody for long.
He was arrested again just hours later.
At 3:30 a.m. on the morning of June 6, police were called back to the same Berkeley home where Somerville was first arrested. Per the L.A. Times, after Somerville was released from the Berkeley jail, he went back to his parents' house to get his car. The former news anchor said he was also looking for his lost cell phone.
Somerville continued ringing the doorbell at the home "in an effort to retrieve his property," Berkeley police wrote in a prepared statement provided to The Berkeley Scanner. Family members again called the police.
Somerville was in his car when officers arrived, and he was showing "objective signs and symptoms of public intoxication," police said.
Somerville was then arrested for a suspected DUI and violation of probation and taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California. In a statement to The Berkeley Scanner on Tuesday afternoon, Somerville said he "wasn't drunk," adding that that the dispute was a "family affair."
Somerville was suspended from KTVU in 2021.
Somerville's public troubles date back to May 2021, when he was slurring while on the air, KRON4 reported. The anchor said that he had mistakenly taken two Ambien, a medication used to treat insomnia.
Somerville took a leave of absence in the aftermath, but according to the L.A. Times, he was formally suspended by KTVU in Sept. 2021, after he attempted to add racial commentary regarding the Gabby Petito case.
"I thought the coverage across the country of Gabby Petito was insane," Somerville told KRON4 during his March interview. "There was no reason for it other than she was a cute white kid. But for some reason, I was suspended over that. I still, to this day, am not sure why."
Things went further downhill when Somerville was charged with a DUI in Dec. 2021, and KTVU opted not to renew his contract. In a Dec. 2022 Facebook post Somerville stated that the two events were unrelated and he was let go due to "an accumulation of a lot of different things, including serious mental health issues."
Somerville also experienced difficulties in his personal life.
Multiple news outlets have also speculated about the impact of events in Somerville's personal life. On Jan. 6, 2021, his wife, Donna Wright Somerville, filed for divorce—mere days after his DUI, the New York Post reported.
However, in the filing, she cited their date of separation as June 19, 2020, due to "irreconcilable differences." The divorce was finalized on May 1 this year.