Update: Alfredo Marino has filed suit against Lil Wayne, in Los Angeles County superior court. The full suit is at the bottom of this post
Last year Downey, California-based bill poster Alfredo Marino saw Lil Wayne on Fairfax Avenue. He approached him hoping to get a photo, but says the encounter ended with a member of the rapper's entourage smashing him in the back of the head with a skateboard and sending him to the hospital.
Marino is set to file suit against Wayne this weekend and hopes to serve him with papers; after all, the superstar hip-hop artist will be in town for the Grammys, and is nominated for two.
How did this all happen? It went down like this:
On May 3, 2012, Marino came to Fairfax to buy his daughter a t-shirt at the Odd Future store. There, he says, he encountered Wayne and his entourage, including Wayne's longtime friend, rapper Mack Maine.
Wayne was skateboarding outside. “I was starstruck,” says Marino. “I was like 'Cool, cool, cool!'” The store was closed, and so as Marino returned to his car, he says he asked one of Wayne's bodyguard's for permission to take a picture of Wayne. Told not to, Marino decided he'd do so anyway.
At that point, the encounter escalated.
“[The bodyguards] started tripping and saying, 'I told you that Lil' Wayne does not want to be bothered,'” says Marino. “I told them I have taken pictures of tons of people and I just want to show my friends that I saw Lil Wayne. They started calling me a 'groupie' and I said, 'I ain't no groupie.'”
Marino says that suddenly he found himself surrounded by four of Wayne's bodyguards — two on each side of his car. It was at that point, he continues, that Wayne, who had previously not said a word, stepped in. “Lil Wayne had enough, I guess, and he rolled up on a skateboard and he said, 'Alright motherfucker, you want to take a picture like a groupie? Like a little bitch? Like a little girl? Is that what you want?'”
“I couldn't believe he was telling me this. I actually started laughing. I didn't take it seriously. I told him I just wanted a picture and that I'm a promoter. But he said, 'I don't want to hear that shit. You're nothing but a groupie bitch to me.'”
Marino says that Wayne then warned that it would just take “a motherfucking word” to his bodyguards and “they will fuck you up.” Before Marino knew what was happening, he alleges, he was knocked out on the street.
When he returned to consciousness shortly thereafter, he says, a man working at a nearby pizza shop asked if he needed an ambulance. At Cedars-Sinai he was treated for vertigo and a concussion.
Witnesses later told him, he says, that he had been hit on the back of his head with a skateboard by one of Wayne's bodyguards. Marino says his camera was also taken, that he had vertigo for three weeks following the incident, and granted medical leave from work for the first two. From June until October he saw a neurologist until he was given a clean bill of health.
Marino's lawyer, Craig Chisvin, says he will be filing a lawsuit against Wayne on behalf of Marino today in Los Angeles. (Wayne's publicist did not respond to an email request for comment.)
“Honestly, I'm not trying to be a millionaire for getting smacked over the head,” Marino says. “I want him to realize that there are fans out there, tons of fans out there and this is the way he's going to treat them? I'm not a teeny bop, but I'm the one who goes out and buys his albums and I tell people about him and I put up his posters and I'm the guy he is going to disrespect? And for him to call me those names was the biggest sign of disrespect. I can't believe people carry themselves like that.”
Because of an upcoming European tour, Marino says his attorney will try to serve Lil Wayne with the lawsuit this weekend while he's in town. Wayne's affiliated Cash Money label is throwing a party tomorrow night at an undisclosed West Hollywood location, and Wayne is scheduled to be there.
“I'm a big hip hop fan, and I loved Lil Wayne's music,” says Marino. “Now I hate his music. But I'm kind of like in the zone that everywhere I go I see Lil Wayne. I see him on TV. I hear him every damn day on the radio. I can't get away from this guy. It disgusts me.”
The full lawsuit is below