SOUTH PACIFIC'S Peter Rini Hailed a Hero for Helping to Catch Hit-and-Run Suspect

SOUTH PACIFIC'S Peter Rini Hailed a Hero for Helping to Catch Hit-and-Run Suspect

The Seattle Police Department has announced that they will be rewarding New York actor Peter Rini for his actions on Monday February 8 when he helped to apprehend a driver who'd hit two parked cars, both occupied, while driving a stolen van.

According to the statement from the Seattle Police, Mr. Rini, who is appearing in the Lincoln Center production of South Pacific currently playing at The 5th Avenue, was walking on East Republican Monday morning at approximately 11:46 when he noticed a white van colliding with a pair of cars, and heard the female driver of one vehicle scream after being struck. The driver then hit a telephone pole and left the vehicle. "Although the collision and the subsequent actions of the suspect were happening instantaneously, Mr. Rini was immediately able to put together what was unfolding and had the presence of mind to recognize that the driver of the white van was trying to make his getaway," says the statement. "As the suspect tried to flee on foot, Mr. Rini tackled the suspect to the ground and subdued him until the officers arrived."

Rini, who plays the role of Commander William Harbison in South Pacific, is a veteran New York actor whose Broadway roles have included Neil Simon's Proposals; A View From The Bridge, and Tartuffe, and whose film and TV appearances have included roles in Boiler Room, Sleepers, and ironically enough numerous appearances on Law and Order, where he has played police officers and detectives.

"Mr. Rini clearly acted out of instinct and goodwill," the statement continues. "Had it not been for Mr. Rini's actions, the arriving officers would have had to eventually set up delayed containment in the neighborhood and actively searched for the suspect on foot, making it difficult at best to find the suspect in this densely populated area of Capitol Hill."

Rini will be honored on Wednesday February 17 at 1:30 at a special ceremony in the front lobby of the downtown Seattle Police Headquarters, 610 5th Ave, where he will be presented with a Citizen's Recognition Award for his voluntary actions in apprehending the suspect.

We at The 5th Avenue are proud to call attention to Mr. Rini's selfless act of heroism, and applaud his civic mindedness and courage.

South Pacific, directed by Seattle's own Bartlett Sher (outgoing artistic director of Intiman Theatre), continues to play at The 5th Avenue Theatre through February 22.
Based on James Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of short stories "Tales of the South Pacific," the musical offers a lushly romantic score while challenging audiences with themes of racial intolerance and bigotry.

Tickets for South Pacific, as well as season subscriptions to the 2009-2010 Season, are available over the phone by calling 206-625-1900/toll-free 888-5TH-4TIX (584-4849), in person at the box office at 1308 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101, or online at

The 5th Avenue Theatre is Seattle's premier musical theater. In 1980, the non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre began producing and presenting top-quality live musical theater for the cultural enrichment of the Northwest community. The 5th Avenue Theatre maintains a subscription audience of over 25,000 and an annual attendance of more than 287,000. It ranks among the nation's largest and most respected musical theater companies. The Theatre is committed to encouraging the next generation of theatergoers through its Educational Outreach Program which includes: The Adventure Musical Theatre Touring Company, The 5th Avenue High School Musical Theatre Awards, the Student Matinee Program and Spotlight Nights. Unique in its Chinese-inspired design, the exquisite theater opened in 1926 as a venue for vaudeville and film. Today, under the leadership of Managing Director Marilynn Sheldon and Producing Artistic Director David Armstrong, The 5th Avenue Theatre continues to achieve the highest standards in all aspects of artistic endeavors and facility operations, while preserving its artistic, architectural and historic legacy. 


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