Kanye West and his bodyguard were arrested this morning at LAX after attacking members of the paparazzi. The two are facing charges of felony vandalism for smashing over $10,000 worth of camera equipment. TMZ photographer Erik was at the scene and had his camera destroyed by Kanye’s bodyguard. Here’s his account:
Erik says he was at Terminal 4 (American Airlines) when he noticed a still photog taking several pictures of Kanye West. Erik says West rushed the photog and grabbed his camera. A struggle ensued and the still guy was screaming, “Police, help!” Erik says Kanye then took the still camera and threw it on the ground, breaking it into pieces.
Erik then went over to Kanye, his camera rolling, when Kanye’s bodyguard walked up to him, realized Erik was taping, and said, “Give me the camera, give me the camera.” Erik responded that he had a press pass and had a right to shoot. The assistant then grabbed the camera, ripped off the mic and viewfinder and smashed it to the ground.
Erik says Kanye then tried to leave to board his plane, but cops stopped him before he got to security. The cops then interviewed Erik, the still photog, Kanye and his assistant.
This is where it gets crazy. The cops asked Erik if he videotaped the incident and Erik said he had. That’s when Kanye lunged toward him and said, “Give me the fu***ng videotape.” Cops had to restrain Kanye as he tried coming at Erik.
You know what’s always smart? Attacking an eyewitness right in front of the police. When it comes to genius legal maneuvers, you just can’t lose with that one – except for completely and, wow, what a fucking idiot. That said, Jesus, Kanye, if you’re going to do something, don’t half-ass it. Ask to use the officer’s gun. You pay taxes.