RUSSELL Brand has been arrested for criminal damage after a photographer claimed that he grabbed his iPhone and threw it away.
Brand has since claimed that his action was "a tribute" to the late Apple boss Steve Jobs.
The controversial comic was detained "without incident" in New Orleans yesterday and released shortly afterwards, a police spokesman said.
Police had issued a warrant on a charge of simple criminal damage to property valued at $700 (¤535), after a photographer accused the comedian of grabbing his iPhone and throwing it through a window.
Bail was set at $5,000 (¤3,824), a spokesman for the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) said.
Brand (36) is in New Orleans to work on an as-yet-untitled film.
Remi Braden, director of public affairs at NOPD, said: "Officers picked up Mr Brand from Harrah's Casino, where he was working on the film.
"He was arrested without incident."
He grabbed the phone while a photographer was using it to take pictures of him in New Orleans on Monday and threw it away, smashing the window of a nearby office, according to website TMZ.
Brand tweeted his fans: "Since Steve Jobs died I cannot bear to see anyone use an iPhone irreverently, what I did was a tribute to his memory."
The UK star split from his wife, pop star Katy Perry, last year after 14 months of marriage.
The couple met at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 2009 and married in a lavish ceremony in India in October 2010.
But rumours of cracks in their relationship circulated right from the start as their respective careers meant they were rarely even in the same country.
Brand, who has starred in films including Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The Greek, has had previous brushes with the law.
He was arrested at an airport in Los Angeles in 2010 over an alleged attack on a photographer.
Last year he was unable to enter Japan while accompanying Perry on tour. The incident was thought to relate to his past drug use.