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.
TMZ.com 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.
[This story was originally published at 12:28 pm E.T. on 9.11.2008]