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Bill Murray threw fans' phones off rooftop, police say

Technically Incorrect: Police confirm that the actor was in a restaurant when guests tried to photograph him. It seems they used flash, which apparently did not amuse the actor.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

This weekend, professional golfers gather in Carmel, California, in order to see how much they can tolerate celebrities.

Bill Murray likes golf. He does not like camera flash.

Larry Placido/Icon SMI/Corbis

In turn, the celebrities gather in order to see how much they can tolerate ordinary people.

It's time, you see, for the AT&T Pro-Am Golf Tournament. Pros play in teams with celebrities and sometimes have to watch them hack their way around the course, as a round can take five hours or more.

One of the mainstays of the tournament is the great actor Bill Murray. He's made an art form of goofing his way around golf courses, including Pebble Beach, where the tournament is played.

This doesn't mean that when he's off the course, he must tolerate the antics of others.

Indeed, TMZ reported, Murray apparently became frustrated with fans using phones to take surreptitious pictures of him at Vesuvio restaurant in Carmel on Thursday night.

So he grabbed their phones and threw them off a second-floor rooftop.

The occasion was a party thrown by actor and singer Justin Timberlake. TMZ suggested that the fans weren't merely using their phones to take pictures, but that they used their flashes.

Oh, no.

One certainly shouldn't flash celebrities who are just trying to have some fun.

Commander Paul Tomasi of the Carmel Police Department told me that officers were called on Thursday night after reports of a disturbance at the appropriately named Vesuvio. It's unclear how volcanic Murray might have been, though he has been known not to suffer fools.

"Three people claimed to have their phones taken and thrown," Tomasi told me.

He confirmed that Murray was the celebrity involved. "Two phones were thrown off the roof and lost. One was thrown and not damaged," Tomasi said.

It's not clear which brands these phones were. Could it be there's a phone out there that can survive being tossed from on high by Murray?

By the time police arrived, Murray had left the scene. However, Tomasi said, Murray's representatives contacted the police on Friday morning.

"They acknowledged Murray was responsible for the lost phones. The actor agreed to pay for the lost property," Tomasi said.

In return, the people involved will not press charges.

Murray's representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. However, one can imagine that the star-struck flash photographers will have stories to tell.

Mobile phones have made it so easy to snap photographs that many people now go to events such as concerts and parties not to participate but merely to hold their phones up, take pictures and post them to their social networks.

Murray seemed unperturbed by the incident on Saturday.

His antics on the course included persuading fans to crowd-surf CBS announcer Dottie Pepper and wearing quite astonishing Chicago Cubs pants.