Akon's Attorney Denies Criminal Conduct in Fan-Throwing Incident
A bit of unsolicited advice to Akon: we know artists love to get up close and personal with their fans, but you might want to keep them off the stage for a while.
A month after he lost his Verizon tour sponsorship for aggressively randy onstage conduct with an underage girl, the MC is under the microscope again, this time for throwing a 15-year-old male fan from the stage.
Police are still considering whether any charges will be filed in the incident, which occurred on Sunday at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill, New York, during a concert by local station WSPK (104.7). On Wednesday, Akon's attorney released a statement proclaiming the singer's innocence in the bizarre episode, caught on fans' cell-phone cameras, in which Akon appears to grab a fan brought up on stage by security and hurl the boy into the crowd.
"Given the information that we have reviewed to date, it does not appear to us that Akon was involved in any criminal conduct whatsoever," read a statement from Akon's attorney, Benjamin Brafman. "We are prepared to fully cooperate with any law enforcement agency that may be investigating this incident. We are confident that after a thorough investigation it will be apparent that no criminal prosecution of Akon is warranted."
Fishkill police have the name of the fan who was hurled from the stage but have not yet released it. According to eyewitnesses and the fan video, the boy was pulled out of the crowd by a security guard after allegedly tossing an unidentified object at Akon.
Heather Idema was at the concert with her daughter and told the Poughkeepsie Journal that an object that appeared to be a piece of a pretzel sailed by Akon's shoulder as he was about to start a song, prompting him to say, "Oh, wait a minute. What was that?"
He then urged the crowd to "point him out, point him out. Who is he?"
After audience members identified the alleged culprit, a security guard asked Akon if he wanted the boy brought onstage. Akon responded, "So go get him. Bring him out to me."
As the fan was brought to the stage, Akon removed his shirt and chain and then grabbed the boy, tossed him over his shoulder and threw him into the crowd, saying, "Now we can start the show, ya'll ready." A moment later, Akon looked down at the crowd and said, "He's OK, he's all right," then shortly later chastised the audience for a perceived lack of support. "See, now you got me feeling by myself," he said in the cell phone video footage. "I thought I had fans and support."
According to the Journal, the boy's mother contacted authorities and gave them her son's name. Police had been seeking the boy to see if he'd been injured in the incident and was interested in pressing charges. So far, no criminal charges have been filed against Akon and the Journal reported that the uninjured boy refused medical treatment on site and left right after the incident.
This is the second time in two months that Akon's onstage antics have gotten him in trouble. In April, during a concert in Trinidad, the singer was videotaped simulating sex with a 14-year-old girl on stage, which resulted in Verizon withdrawing its sponsorship of Akon's current tour with Gwen Stefani. Akon apologized for the raunchy performance and said later that he didn't know the girl -- a pastor's daughter -- was underage.
At press time, Fishkill police had not responded to MTV News' requests for comment on the investigation.