Kanye West Arrested After Airport Scuffle
Kanye West's notoriously fickle temper boiled over today (Sept. 11), resulting in his arrest for apparently helping smash a paparazzo's camera on the floor at Los Angeles International Airport.Kanye West's notoriously fickle temper boiled over today (Sept. 11), resulting in his arrest for apparently helping smash a paparazzo's camera on the floor at Los Angeles International Airport.
Police arrested the music superstar shortly before 8 a.m. He and his manager, Don Crowley, were booked for investigation of felony vandalism, although prosecutors will determine what charges they might face.
West was released from police custody by this afternoon. Blair Berk, who was retained as his attorney, said she couldn't comment on the incident.
Clips of the video shot by the celebrity gossip site TMZ show West and Crowley grabbing the camera from a photographer, who is yelling "Police! Police!" and "Help me!" After they wrest it away, it appears that the manager smashes the camera to the ground, and the rapper follows by slamming down a flash.
Crowley is then seen accosting the TMZ videographer who's shooting the footage. The video camera was broken in the scuffle before security intervened, the Web site reported. The video starts mid-confrontation, and doesn't show how it began or what might have caused it to escalate.
Los Angeles International Airport spokesman Marshall Lowe said West and Crowley were scheduled to board a flight to Honolulu this morning. They had not yet reached a security screening checkpoint when the altercation began.
The airport is a popular spot for the paparazzi, who frequently catch shots of Britney Spears and other celebrities arriving and leaving Los Angeles.
Charles Davis, who solicits charity donations at the airport, said he witnessed the incident, and that West was "attacked" by paparazzi, and the rapper "just defended himself."
"I talk to him all the time," Davis said. "He's a very nice gentleman. Very nice. He gives good donations to help children. He's got a good, kind heart. I've gotten his autograph several times. I just don't see why he was arrested. The man just put the camera too close to his face. I don't blame him."
Davis said he didn't think the camera was destroyed. "It was just knocked out of the man's hand," he said.
Lowe said police at the airport interviewed witnesses and that West and Crowley were then sent to a nearby Los Angeles Police Department station for booking. West left that police station in a black Chevrolet Suburban by mid-afternoon, shielded by umbrellas so that photographers couldn't get a shot. He did not give a statement to reporters.
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