Kanye West may have dodged a felony attempted robbery charged by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. West will likely not be charged with any crime for brawling with a photographer at LAX airport.
Provoked by the eager paparazzo upon his departure, West wrestled the shutterbug to the ground last week, allegedly attempting to take his camera before getting into his waiting ride from the busy airport.
Afterward, the photographer, believed to be named Dano, pressed the more serious felony charges of attempted robbery instead of misdemeanor battery, but authorities say there isn’t enough evidence to call what happened a felony.
The Los Angeles district attorney isn’t likely to go after West.
West, who has long maintained a hostile stance toward paparazzi and even rapped about his contempt for the media, was captured on video wrestling the photographer to the ground.
His lawyer has insisted to Robbery Homicide Division detectives that West was simply trying to stop the photographer from taking a picture.
A video shows West emerging from the airport and heading toward a waiting car. He then stops and appears to get into an argument with one of numerous photographers on scene.
The video shows West grabbing the photographer. He appears to have the photographer in a virtual headlock as he forces him to the ground. While a camera is between the pair, his lawyer told authorities the video shows he never grabbed it.
The photographer’s most feasible option could be a criminal battery prosecution if he decides to continue.
However, at that level, West could pay his way out of the case legally with a civil compromise, which would erase the charges from the rapper’s record.
Samir Chantre, a Brazilian jujitsu instructor who was returning from Brazil at the time, said in a telephone interview with The Times that the incident occurred about 2 p.m. outside the international terminal.
When West exited the airport, Chantre said, “five photographers started shooting pictures of him and one of them was over the microphone and was saying stuff to him,” Chantre said.
According to Chantre, West “seemed like he was getting offended” and ran after one of the photographers.
Paramedics were called to the scene after the photographer complained of injuries.