Friday 9 December 2016

Man, 52, charged with vandalising Donald Trump's walk of fame star

Published 17/11/2016 | 23:41

A man has been charged with vandalising Donald Trump's walk of fame star in Los Angeles
A man has been charged with vandalising Donald Trump's walk of fame star in Los Angeles

A man has been charged with vandalising Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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James Otis, 52, is accused of using a pick axe and sledgehammer to smash the star on October 26 - two weeks before Mr Trump won the US presidential election.

Otis allegedly removed a brass medallion from the middle of the star during the attack, prosecutors said.

He is charged with one count of vandalism over 400 dollars (£322) and faces up to three years in jail if convicted, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.

Otis is due to appear in court at Foltz Criminal Justice Centre in Los Angeles on Friday, where b ail will be recommended at 20,000 dollars (£16,108).

Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

A video posted online last month showed Mr Trump's star on Hollywood Boulevard had been smashed to pieces and his name removed from it.

According to Deadline, the vandal - dressed as a city construction worker - said he originally intended to remove the president elect's name from the star to auction it off to raise funds for women who have accused him of sexual assault.

Mr Trump has vehemently denied the sexual assault allegations.

The tycoon received the 2,327th star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2007 for his work on the American version of The Apprentice.

It has been repeatedly targeted in recent months following his controversial comments about banning Muslims from entering the US and building a wall on the US-Mexico border.

In July, a British artist known as Plastic Jesus installed a mini-wall around Mr Trump's star, topped with razor wire, miniature US flags and Keep Out signs.

Following the latest vandal attack, t he Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which manages the Walk of Fame, said it intended "to prosecute to the full extent of the law".

Leron Gubler, president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, said at the time: "The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an institution celebrating the positive contributions of the inductees.

"When people are unhappy with one of our honourees, we would hope that they would project their anger in more positive ways than to vandalise a California State landmark.

"Our democracy is based on respect for the law. People can make a difference by voting and not destroying public property."

Mr Trump's star was repaired immediately after it was attacked and covered for several days for protection, a Hollywood Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman said.

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