Fat Joe, Big Punisher Charged In Parade Beating

Rappers released after arrest for allegedly assaulting and robbing a man during Puerto Rican Day event in NYC.

In yet another case of a rapper being fingered in a beating

incident, hip-hop artists Big Punisher and Fat Joe were arrested

Tuesday night on assault and robbery charges after

they allegedly clubbed a man with a bat and stole his gold chain

at a July Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York.

According to New York City police spokesman Charles Larken,

Big Punisher (born Christopher Rios), 26, and Fat Joe (born Joe

Cartagena), 28, were both arrested on assault and robbery warrants.

The two high-profile artists are accused of assaulting a

man at the July 14 parade, in which the two rappers rode on a float.

"The complainant states that the suspects hit him with a baseball

bat and removed his gold chain at the corner of Willis and 132 Street," Larken said.

The police spokesman did not offer details on specifically where

and when during the

parade the alleged attack took place. He also had no information regarding any injuries

the unidentified man may have suffered.

Fat Joe, whose Don Cartagena was released last week and debuted at #8

on the Billboard 200 albums chart,

was arrested at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, at HMV Records on 34th Street in the

Bronx, by officers from New York City's 40th District police station.

"People are talking about it, but no one really knows what happened," a HMV employee,

who did not want to be identified, said on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 9). "Everyone

who worked yesterday is off today, so a lot of what's going around is second- and

third-hand news."

About two hours later, Big Punisher turned himself in to officers at the same 40th District

station, according to Larken. Both rappers were released on their own recognizance

after being charged with second-degree robbery and assault.

A hearing date has yet to be set in the assault case.

Representatives for Loud Records, Big Punisher's label, and Atlantic Records, Fat Joe's

label, had no comment on the arrests.

Big Punisher's Capital Punishment was released on April 28 and hit #5 on the

Billboard 200 albums chart in its first week of release, spurred on by the success

of

HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Big_Punisher/I'm_Not_A_Player.ram">"I'm Not A

Player" (RealAudio excerpt) and its remix, "Still Not A Player." The album is

currently lodged at #62.

Fat Joe's third album, Don Cartagena, has sold 108,000 copies. It features

appearances by Big Punisher and Puff Daddy.

The arrest of Big Punisher is the latest in a series of setbacks for the popular rapper. His

appearance at the Puerto Rican Day Parade was one of his first after being ordered by

his doctors to rest when a grueling promotions schedule led to a case of exhaustion for

the 300-pound-plus rapper.

In July, a member of Big Punisher's security team was arrested on felony charges of

discharging a firearm in a building after allegedly firing shots from a 9 mm handgun into

the air to calm an unruly crowd at a Big Punisher/Xzibit show at the Industry nightclub in

Pontiac, Mich. That case goes to trial on Oct. 13.

The arrest is also the latest involving a rap artist accused of assault. Hardcore rapper

Noreaga turned himself into police Tuesday on an assault charge after he was alleged to

have beaten a concert-goer after a Pennsylvania show last month.