Chris: Craig Blankenhorn/ NBC
Gary Susman
April 11, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Maybe the staff at Tampa’s Seminole Hard Rock Casino merely lost Chris Shelton’s credit card. The Apprentice contestant, known for his tantrums on the NBC reality show, was arrested early Sunday morning at the casino and charged with disorderly conduct, according to reports in the Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times. The Tribune quotes the police report as saying that Seminole police arrested the 22-year-old when he allegedly caused a scene while refusing to pay a $20 cover charge at the resort’s bar, saying he’d already spent $2,000 on his hotel room.

Shelton was in Florida to celebrate the birthday of his pal, former Apprentice teammate John Gafford, whom Donald Trump ”fired” on the March 10 episode. According to the arrest report, ”there were several patrons in the area who were visibly shaken by his actions. After several attempts to calm Shelton, he continued to yell and curse, refusing to calm down and stop causing a scene.” ”He was loud and he just wouldn’t calm down,” Seminole police spokesman Gary Bitner told the Times. According to Hillsborough County jailhouse records, Shelton was arrested on the misdemeanor charge at 3:25 a.m. and released seven hours later on $250 bond.

”It’s so ludicrous,” Gafford said of his friend’s arrest, though he wasn’t present during the alleged incident. ”The hotel handled the situation very poorly from top to bottom,” he told the Tribune.

All the Apprentice episodes, save the season finale, have been taped. Shelton is one of six remaining contenders, though it’s not yet known if he makes it all the way to the final two. Trump has criticized Shelton on camera for his ”anger mismanagement” problem, as evidenced in last week’s episode, where he wasted his team’s valuable time waiting for employees at a Best Buy to find his missing credit card and threatening to ”find an aluminum bat and break somebody’s kneecaps” if the lost card wasn’t found.

”We don’t really have any comment,” NBC spokesman Jim Dowd told the Times. ”This is clearly a private matter with Chris.”

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