Jean Claude Van Damme's son accused of unlawful imprisonment, drug possession in Tempe

TEMPE, AZ - The son of Jean-Claude Van Damme is accused of holding his roommate at knifepoint at their Tempe apartment.

On Saturday night, officers responded to an apartment complex near Veterans Way and College Avenue after receiving reports about a disturbance in an elevator, court paperwork said.

Nicholas Van Varenberg, 21, was allegedly seen on surveillance video punching the side of the elevator and injuring his hand, court documents said. A trail of blood went from the elevator to the apartment, the paperwork said.

Officers performed a "welfare check" after following the blood to the unit. Neither Van Varenberg nor his roommate said they needed help and officers left the scene. 

After officers left, Van Varenberg became angry because his roommate answered the door for police, court paperwork said. The suspect said he doesn't like police and that he should no longer answer the door if they come.

The roommate told officers that Van Varenberg was acting strange and was seen “licking blood from his still bleeding hand,” court documents said. Police returned to the apartment a second time after receiving reports about loud noise and yelling coming from the unit.

After officers knocked on their door several times they once again left the scene, court paperwork said. However, shortly after, the roommate ran from from the apartment and called police from the lobby after Van Varenberg allegedly became “extremely paranoid.”

The roommate explained to police that when officers arrived the second time Van Varenberg turned off the lights inside their apartment and told his roommate they would not be answering the door, court paperwork stated. The roommate tried explaining that they were not in any trouble with authorities and that officers were just making sure they are OK. 

At that point Van Varenberg allegedly went into the kitchen, grabbed a knife and held it towards the victim, court documents said. Van Varenberg demanded that his roommate go into his room which he complied with. 

The roommate told police that he felt that if he attempted to leave the apartment Van Varenberg would hurt him. After a short time, the roommate was able to calm down the suspect down who in turn agreed to let him go into his own room, court paperwork said. 

Surveillance video showed the man in the hallway outside of their unit, court paperwork said. Van Varenberg allegedly attempted to drag his roommate back inside the apartment but when he was unsuccessful he went back in and shut the door.

The roommate ran downstairs and claimed he had to escape his apartment after Van Varenberg allegedly refused to let him leave, Tempe police said.

Van Varenberg was arrested under suspicion of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful imprisonment, pot possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was originally set at $10,000 and he has since been released from jail.

Van Varenberg is Jean-Claude Van Damme’s youngest son. A spokesperson for Arizona State University says the suspect is currently enrolled as a student.

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