Man Who Defaced Trump Star Is Behind Bars

Donald and Melania Trump
Donald and Melania Trump

The man who says he defaced, destroyed and dismantled Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was arrested today, according to authorities.

James Otis, 52, was arrested at 7:45 a.m., according to Los Angeles Sheriff's Department inmate records. A Los Angeles Police Department spokesman says he was collared on suspicion of felony vandalism in connection with yesterday morning's destruction of the star.

The suspect used a pick and a sledgehammer to crush the star, on the 6800 block of Hollywood Boulevard. The action was caught on video. He wore a construction vest and hardhat and had the area roped off.

TMZ says cops grabbed Otis as he was leaving a West Hollywood home; LAPD Sgt. Barry Montgomery says Otis was arrested at the intersection of Spaulding and Willoughby avenues in West Hollywood. The suspect, reportedly a sometime art collector and documentary filmmaker, says he had intended to auction the star to benefit the victims of sexual violence. He says he's been arrested before for his activism.

About a dozen women have come forward to accuse the GOP presidential candidate of sexual impropriety or assault. Otis told reporters he destroyed the star to bring attention to their plight; he said he has family members who have been sexually abused.

The nonprofit Walk of Fame, which allows celebrities and their fans to essentially buy stars, repaired Trump's monument last night. A spokeswoman says it would be cordoned off for "days" as material dried.

"When people are unhappy with one of our honorees, we would hope that they would project their anger in more positive ways than to vandalize a California state landmark," says Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which runs the Walk of Fame. "Our democracy is based on respect for the law. People can make a difference by voting and not destroying public property.''

Otis was being held in lieu of $20,000, according to sheriff's data.


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