SANTA MONICA, California — The Santa Monica Police Department issued a warrant for the arrest of G-Unit rapper Young Buck on Tuesday (November 16) in connection with the melee at Monday's Vibe Awards.
After reviewing a videotape of the fight, investigators believe Buck (born David Darnell Brown) stabbed 26-year-old Los Angeles native Jimmy James Johnson after Johnson assaulted Dr. Dre during the ceremony at the Santa Monica Municipal Airport hangar (see "Dr. Dre Attacked, Man Stabbed During Melee At Vibe Awards").
Buck, who will be charged with assault with a deadly weapon, was one of three men seen on the videotape with knives. The other two have not been identified.
"Mr. Brown is seen lunging over another male and swinging the knife at Mr. Johnson's upper body while Johnson is looking away from him," Santa Monica Police Chief J.T. Butts Jr. said at a press conference Tuesday (November 16). "He is clearly depicted holding the knife after the assault and is one of a number of fight participants sprayed by pepper spray. Brown then fled the scene and was not identified until earlier this morning. ... We are asking Mr. Brown to surrender himself to the Santa Monica Police Department immediately."
The encounter began around 7:25 p.m., when Johnson approached Dr. Dre pretending to ask for an autograph and began punching him several times.
"As private security persons attempted to control Mr. Johnson, several males attempted to assault him," Butts said. "Two uniformed officers attempted to intervene and they themselves became victims when unidentified men threw chairs at them."
Johnson was stabbed in the chest and suffered a collapsed lung. He was rushed to a local hospital and is in stable condition, Butts said.
Johnson, who is on parole, has not yet been interviewed, nor has Dr. Dre. "We have a call in to him, he has not responded, but we will interview him at his earliest convenience," Butts said. "This investigation is continuing and we are in the process of identifying several other assault suspects. We have a lot of people to interview."
Butts said he has no idea what sparked the assault and made no connection between Johnson and Suge Knight, a longtime Dre rival who attended the awards.
Speaking to reporters after the show, Knight denied involvement. "One thing about me, if I do something, I'mma claim it," he said. "I'm not a idiot. See, an idiot would go out there and do stuff."
Initially only two officers intervened, but Butts said 56 officers were on the scene within minutes, including more than 30 who were patrolling the Vibe Awards. Metal detectors were used at the doors, Butts said.
Young Buck has several arrests in Nashville on his record for minor offenses, Butts said. A spokesperson for the G-Unit had no comment.
The incident was edited out of Tuesday's Vibe Awards broadcast on UPN. The only slight reference was the first comment from Dre as he accepted a lifetime-achievement award, which happened right after he was attacked. "They can't stop me. I don't care," he said, showing no signs of injury.
G-Unit won Best Group early on in the show, and Young Buck took the stage along with 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and others.
[This story was updated on 11.17.04 at 2 p.m. ET.]