Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kanye West Arrested At Los Angeles Airport After Scuffle With Paparazzi

Rapper, bodyguard both charged with felony vandalism; bodyguard also charged with battery.

(swiped from MTVNews)

Kanye West and his road manager and bodyguard, who has been identified as Don Crowley, were arrested Thursday morning (September 11) by Los Angeles International Airport police near the American Airlines terminal, a spokesperson for the airport's public relations office confirmed to MTV News.

Both were charged with felony vandalism, and the spokesperson confirmed that the incident involved paparazzi. Both men remain in police custody at press time.

According to the spokesperson, West and Crowley were waiting for a flight to Honolulu, Hawaii, when they were met by a photographer and videographer, who were taking their photos. An altercation ensued, and the cameras of both paparazzi were damaged. TMZ claims the photographer started calling out for help. reported Thursday that West was arrested after allegedly grabbing a camera — which police said was valued at more than $10,000 — that belonged to a member of the paparazzi and throwing it to the ground, smashing it. According to TMZ, the photographer approached the rapper and began taking pictures of him. West confronted him, grabbed his camera and hurled the camera to the ground.
Another paparazzo began videotaping the incident, according to TMZ, which prompted the rapper's bodyguard to grab that camera. A struggle followed, and the bodyguard allegedly threw that camera against the ground, damaging it. When West and his bodyguard tried to leave the scene to make their plane, police stopped them both. When police asked the second paparazzo if he'd caught the incident on tape, he told them he had. West allegedly lunged for the tape, instructing the cameraman to "gimme that f---ing tape." But police restrained West and took him into custody.

Police said several witnesses were still being interviewed by airport police and that West and his bodyguard were transferred to the Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Division for booking.

At press time, representatives for West had not yet commented on the incident.

MTV News will have more on this developing story shortly.


Update from Pitchfork Media:

Guess those "Flashing Lights" don't always agree with Kanye West. According to TMZ, the rapper and his assistant were arrested in Los Angeles today after a bit of a dust-up with a photographer and a cameraman. Kanye was in the American Airlines terminal at Los Angeles International Airport when the photographer started snapping away. Allegedly, West "confronted the photographer and smashed his camera to the ground."

The ever-present TMZ were also on hand and began videotaping the scene, which caused Kanye's assistant to give TMZ's camera much the same treatment Kanye laid on the still photographer's. Kanye then "rushed" the TMZ cameraman, yelling, "Gimme that fucking tape!" TMZ says they have the tape, which they'll be posting shortly. UPDATE: Here it is.

TMZ claims that Kanye and his assistant will be charged with felony vandalism. UPDATE: TMZ reports that they are being held on $20,000 bail.

None of this activity seems to have affected Kanye's blog, however. Note that there have already been ten new posts today.


10-22 Sao Paulo, Brazil - Auditorio Ibirapuera
10-24 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Marina da Gloria
11-08 Belfast, Northern Ireland - Odyssey Arena
11-09 Dublin, Ireland - RDS Simmonscourt
11-12 London, England - O2 Arena
11-13 Newcastle, England - Metro Radio Arena
11-15 Birmingham, England - NEC Birmingham
11-16 Glasgow, Scotland - SECC
11-17 Manchester, England - M.E.N. Arena
11-20 Paris, France - Bercy

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