R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport Saturday for allegedly assaulting two crew members on an overnight flight from Seattle to London, Scotland Yard said. The crew on

R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport Saturday for allegedly assaulting two crew members on an overnight flight from Seattle to London, Scotland Yard said. The crew on British Airways Flight 48 asked police to meet the plane when it landed at Heathrow at 11:10 a.m.

Airline spokesman Paul Parry said no one was injured. One of the cabin crew members involved was a man, the other was a woman, he said. Buck, 44, who was traveling first class, was kept in police custody at Heat hrow for much of the day, police said.

He was later charged with two counts of common assault -- the most minor assault charge -- plus a public order offense, criminal damage, disobeying an aircraft commander and being drunk on an aircraft. Buck, who lives in Seattle, was granted bail and ordered to appear at Uxbridge Magistrates Court in London on June 18.

R.E.M. is to perform at the South Africa Freedom Day Concert in London's Trafalgar Square on Sunday (April 29), as part of the promotional activitie s leading up to the May 15 release of its latest album, "Reveal" (Warner Bros.) The group will also tape performances in the coming days for "Top of the Pops" and "Later With Jools Holland."

In a statement, Buck said, "I am very sorry for the incident an d of course very embarrassed about the whole thing. However, on the advice of my lawyers, I have been advised to make no further comment. I am grateful to the court for allowing me to undertake our promotional tour. The matter has been delayed until mid June, when of course I will be here."

Buck is not the only member of the pioneering alternative rock outfit in the news. The group's lead singer, Michael Stipe, has angered neighbors in Athens by nailing a sign protesting local speed bumps to his house.

In red letters, the sign says it was "idiotic, selfish and inappropriate" for the neighborhood to push the Athens-Clarke County government to install the speed bumps. Some neighbors responded by tacking on hand-rendered replies, accusing Stipe of being i ndifferent to problems with speeding motorists.

He answered with a letter to the Athens Daily News/Banner-Herald: "If speed bumps are the only available fast-track solution offered by the city to an obvious community problem, it will not be long before driving or bicycling in Athens is impossible."

Stipe, who rents out the historic home he owns there, acknowledged that his sign "has caused quite a stir." In the letter, the 41-year-old singer said he hopes it will provoke debate. Virginia McCormack, a ne ighborhood resident, said the sign violates the county's historic home ordinance and will be taken down.

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