Eliot Rutledge starred in comically bad zombie flicks. But then, police say, the amateur actor sliced open his hands and forced a woman drink his own blood.
Rutledge, an actor and producer who starred in a trilogy of zombie films, was arrested last week in Rome, Georgia after his alleged involvement in an incident so disturbing it could have been written into a horror screenplay.
The 30-year-old is accused of cramming his bloody fingers down another woman’s throat in an attempt to make her swallow his blood, according to a Floyd County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com.
“He cut his hands causing them to bleed,” the police documents stated. “Mr. Rutledge then chased the victim down and shoved his bloody fingers in the victim’s mouth so she ‘could taste his blood.’”
Police weren’t able to confirm how or why Rutledge “cut” his hands. The encounter reportedly occurred on Jan. 27 at Rutledge’s home in Rome, about 65 miles northwest of Atlanta.
But according to investigators, it’s not the first time the actor’s been accused of domestic abuse. In a separate incident dating back to August 2018, Rutledge was also arrested on charges of falsely imprisoning another woman and choke-slamming her to the ground outside his Georgia home.
“He confined the victim... by blocking all points of exiting the residence,” according to the arrest report.
Rutledge has been charged with several counts of battery, disorderly conduct, false imprisonment, and aggravated assault in connection with both alleged episodes. He had his first court appearance on April 13. Rutledge hasn’t yet bonded out and is currently incarcerated awaiting a preliminary hearing, according to Leigh Patterson, Floyd County’s District Attorney.
“A small group of survivors stagger into the crossfire of a territorial war between a ruthless clan of villains and a criminal family of gangsters,” the first film’s synopsis states.
Sean Charles Smith, the writer-director of the zombie film franchise and owner of RMS Films, told Oxygen.com that Rutledge is a “damn good actor” and that the accusations against his colleague were shocking.
“I’ve known him for years — I’ve never seen him be violent ever,” Smith said. “He’s a real nice guy. I’ve worked closely with him. It was very surprising to me.”
At the time of his arrest, Rutledge was working on releasing a documentary on bikers. Rutledge’s cinematic resume also includes a composer credit on the 2013 short comedy “Grant and Allison.” He reportedly starred as the leading star-crossed lover in a 2016 production of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” as well.
Lisa Smith, director of Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism, said her agency helps market local theatrical productions, including the Shakespeare production that Rutledge was allegedly cast in. Smith stated she doesn’t know Rutledge, but was horrified by the charges against him.
“The whole story is very disturbing,” she said. “If he’s found guilty, it’s very sad. It’s very sad for everyone involved including the victim.”
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