Rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s month-long stint as a fugitive — which included an improbable public performance with the Wu-Tang Clan last week — ended Monday afternoon (November 27) in the parking lot of a McDonald’s restaurant in south Philadelphia, when police arrested him in front of a mob of fans.
Police arrested O.D.B. at 4:17 p.m., after being summoned by the manager of the McDonald’s on Grays Ferry Avenue, according to authorities. The rapper, whose real name is Russell Jones, fled court-mandated rehab in California last month and faces outstanding drug warrants in New York.
“He was hiding out in south Philadelphia, knowing he has a publicly known face,” said a Philadelphia police source, who asked not to be named. “Since he was a star, he was letting it be known — mobs of people were crowding around him.”
Fearing a disturbance as O.D.B. greeted fans in front of the restaurant, the McDonald’s manager phoned police without knowing the
rapper’s identity, the source said.
Police summoned to the scene soon realized who he was and made their way toward him. O.D.B. initially approached the officers, apparently mistaking them for autograph seekers.
But when they began to draw their guns, the rapper allegedly jumped in his car and tried to escape, moving toward an exit by way of the restaurant’s drive-through lane.
Police blocked the exit and arrested the rapper, who allegedly presented an identification card from a check-cashing outlet that bore a fake name. But O.D.B. told police his real name when they asked him for it.
The rapper, who was not immediately charged with any new crimes, was in custody Monday night in a cell at a Philadelphia police station, awaiting extradition to either New York or California.
“We’re going to try to get him down here. I’m sure California is going to try to get him out there,” said Ken Holder, bureau chief of narcotics trials for the Queens, New York,
district attorney’s office, which is prosecuting O.D.B. on a crack-cocaine case.
O.D.B. had been living at the Impact House rehab center in Pasadena, California, after serving six months in county jail for violating his probation by drinking alcohol. Last month, he fled as he was being transported from the center to Los Angeles Criminal Courthouse.
The rapper joined the rest of the Wu-Tang Clan onstage at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom last week in front of hundreds of stunned fans (see “Performance By Fugitive O.D.B. Stuns Wu-Tang Clan Crowd” ). He left the venue without being arrested, despite the presence of numerous police officers outside the venue. The performance was the first time he’d surfaced since his escape.
O.D.B.’s lawyer, Robert L. Shapiro, did not return a call for comment by press time.
O.D.B. spent much of the last year in courtrooms, appearing on charges of illegally wearing a bulletproof
vest, possessing crack cocaine, making terrorist threats, operating a vehicle illegally and stealing a $50 pair of sneakers. He also released his second solo album, N***a Please.