A Los Angeles man who said he used a sledgehammer and pick ax to deface Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last month to make a political statement was charged Thursday with a felony count of vandalism.
James Lambert Otis, 52, could face up to three years in jail if convicted of the charge, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He’s scheduled to be arraigned Friday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.
Otis told City News Service he had no immediate comment on the D.A.’s decision to bring a felony charge against him.
When asked by CNS last month about his then-likely arrest for vandalizing the star at 5:45 a.m. on Oct. 26, Otis said, “I’m not frightened of jail and I’m certainly not frightened of Mr. Trump. What punishment I get is fine.”
Otis previously said that he originally intended to “remove” the entire star from the 6800 block of Hollywood Boulevard, auction it off in New York and give the money to the nearly dozen women who allege they were groped or sexually mistreated by Trump. But he said he was unable to accomplish the feat, so he removed a brass medallion from the star after using a sledgehammer and a pick ax to smash it up.
“It was very difficult. The stone was like marble — hard to get through,” Otis told CNS about an hour afterward. “It would have taken an hour.”
Otis, dressed in construction-worker garb, used the hammer and pick ax to hack away Trump’s name and the logo indicating the star had been awarded in the category of television — for Trump’s work on “The Apprentice.”
Otis, who said several members of his family had been victims of sexual assault, was arrested the following day by Los Angeles police and released on a $20,000 bond.
Ana Martinez with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce estimated last month that replacing the damaged star would cost “a few thousand dollars.”
Otis said he spent several nights in Hollywood preparing to carry out what he called an act of non-violent protest. He said he has been arrested about two dozen times in the past for protesting various causes.
In this case, however, he acknowledged that an act of vandalism may have crossed the line of non-violence.
“I destroyed the star, but considering the violence that has been committed (by Trump) — I’m a little sad that I had to (damage the star),” he said earlier. “I’m usually always non-violent. It seems in this one instance I broke some stone and marble to make a point.”
Trump — now the president-elect — has vehemently denied accusations of mistreating women.
Trump’s Walk of Fame star has been targeted previously, with vandals painting on it earlier this year, and a street artist erecting a small wall around it this summer, mocking Trump’s pledge to build a wall along the U.S.- Mexico border.
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–City News Service
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