Kanye West has always hated flashing lights, and now he has more reason. The Grammy-winning rapper–producer–songwriter along with his road manager and bodyguard, Don Crowley, were arrested on suspicion of vandalism this morning at Los Angeles International Airport after an alleged scuffle with a photographer and videographer.
LAX spokesperson Marshall Lowe confirmed that the scuffle with the paparazzi took place in the American Airlines terminal where West was scheduled to board a flight to Honolulu. Allegedly, West broke the photographer's camera when he attempted to snap shots of the Chi-town lyricist. A videographer who was also on the scene began recording the incident when Crowley seized his equipment and smashed it to the ground.
When police arrived on the scene the cameraman informed them that he had recorded the altercation, allegedly causing West to lunge for the tape, at which time he was detained and taken into custody. After being booked for investigation of felony vandalism, West and Crowley were released on $20,000 bail from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Division on Thursday afternoon, September 11. Prosecutors will determine what charges they might face.
The following day West posted a brief note on his blog that simply read, “We back in the lab! I'm cool with the paparazzi. This guy wasn't cool. I gotta work now... I'll rant later!”
G.O.O.D. Music/Columbia Records Grammy-winning artist John Legend weighed in on his musical mentor’s arrest. “I haven’t spoken to him yet; it just happened yesterday,” Legend told ESSENCE.com. “I don’t have all the details, but sometimes these paparazzi are so rude and intrusive anybody might have a strong reaction to being [hounded]. Although I’m not the violent type, I never judge someone who might react differently, because who knows what those cats said to trigger him. Unfortunately, that’s the good and bad part of fame.”
Ironically, West is not the only celeb who has scuffled with aggressive shutterbugs, but he appears to be the only one recently detained by officials. Past incidents of celebs gone wild have resulted in several Tinseltown favorites having lawsuits filed against them for their vigilante behavior. To name-drop: Pamela Anderson and Denise Richards as well as Britney Spears and her mom, Lynn, who on separate occasions allegedly delivered tag-team beat-downs to harassing paparazzo; Pierce Brosnan allegedly let loose a can of whoop tail on one lensman in a parking lot; Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake allegedly doubled-up to put the smackdown on their tailgaters; Keanu Reeves used a photog as a speed bump; Woody Harrelson reportedly strangled a man; Coldplay frontman and Gwenyth Paltrow’s husband, Chris Martin, damaged a photog’s car; and the man who many would say started it all: King of Paparazzi Attacks Sean Penn, who reportedly dangled a Chinese cameraman from a ninth-floor balcony, fled the country and was later pardoned.
The outspoken MC has made it known that he's no fan of the paparazzi. In his smash "Flashing Lights," he lyrically denounces the intrusiveness of lurking cameramen: "And try to hit you with the old wopty/Till I got flashed by the paparazzi/Damn these n----- got me/I hate these n----- more than a Nazi."
West and his bodyguard were released from jail