NEWS

Randy Quaid Granted Release After Arrest In Montreal

05/19/2015 02:00 EDT | Updated 05/19/2016 05:59 EDT
MONTREAL - Actor Randy Quaid, who once claimed he was being hunted by "Hollywood star-whackers," was ordered released from a Montreal immigration detention centre Tuesday after more than two years of living under the radar.

Quaid, 64, was nabbed last Thursday in Montreal, where he's lived since January 2013, a month after finding out his bid for permanent residency in Canada had been denied.

He became the subject of a nationwide arrest warrant after he stopped checking in with the Canada Border Services Agency.

An Immigration and Refugee Board member authorized Quaid's release Tuesday after his father-in-law agreed to post a $10,000 bond.

It was not immediately known if the money was handed over. If not, Quaid was to return for another hearing on May 25.

Quaid must abide by a number of other conditions, including checking in with border-agency officials within 48 hours of his release and then every two weeks. He must tell them if he leaves Canada and he can't work without a valid work permit.

The actor is not admissible in Canada and could ask for a pre-removal risk assessment, which could prolong his stay. He has not done so.

Quaid and his Canadian wife fled north of the border in 2010, saying they were the victims of persecution. Quaid had sought to stay in Canada and said he was being hunted by "Hollywood star-whackers.

The Quaids arrived in Canada with a string of legal problems, but Tuesday's hearing was told that all of the charges against them were dismissed except for one — a burglary charge which Quaid claims is identity theft.

"You agree — and you even said that you're not going to be wilfully blind — you know that there is something pending against you, although it is trumped-up, fake and that somebody has stolen your identity," board member Dianne Tordorf said in her ruling.

Sporting a massive beard and shoulder-length grey hair, Quaid apologized and indicated he's ready to return to the United States to deal with the case and ultimately return to Canada.

After arriving in 2010, the Quaids lived in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa before moving to Montreal.

Quaid said he was devastated by the ruling against his residency bid in December 2012 and was fearful of being separated from his wife of 25 years, Evi, whose father is Canadian and enabled her to gain her citizenship.

"You reacted and you didn't go in appeal of that decision, you didn't go to the Federal Court and try to have it reversed," Tordorf said. "Instead, you became disillusioned with the system and that's when you decided you weren't going to report anymore."

A border-agency official saw Quaid coming in and out of a residence in Montreal and police were asked to break down the door when no one would answer.

Tordorf agreed that Quaid posed a flight risk given that he has failed to follow previous conditions, but said she doesn't believe his detention is necessary.

"In the circumstances, I find that you well explained how difficult it has been to get all your papers together and put forward everything you need in order to have a successful conclusion to gaining permanency in Canada," she said.

Quaid also doesn't have a valid U.S. passport and the couple announced late last year they are suing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the State Department to recover passports the government revoked three years ago.

A document filed Tuesday suggests the U.S. government is willing to give Quaid a temporary passport.

Quaid is the older brother of actor Dennis Quaid and is perhaps best-known for his roles in films such as "National Lampoon's Vacation" and "Independence Day."

He won a Golden Globe award for his depiction of President Lyndon Baines Johnson in a TV movie in the late 1980s.

He was also nominated for an Oscar as best supporting actor for his role in 1973's "The Last Detail," which starred Jack Nicholson.

Quaid lost out to John Houseman for his performance in "The Paper Chase."

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