A “non-violent” man armed with a sledgehammer and a pick defaced the Hollywood Walk of Fame star of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Wednesday, hacking out the gold-colored name and television logo from the sidewalk monument.
He said he tried to destroy the star due to the “violence committed” by Trump against women, and “what punishment I get is fine.”
The culprit, who identified himself as James Lambert Otis, told City News Service 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 Otis said he was unable to accomplish the feat.
“It was very difficult. The stone was like marble — hard to get through,” Otis told CNS after he said he attacked the star at 5:45 a.m. “It would have taken an hour.”
Instead, Otis, dressed in construction-worker garb, used the hammer and pick 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 said the process took him only a few minutes, and he still hopes he can sell the pilfered pieces.
“I’d like to try to go back and try to get the other part of the star,” he said. “I just don’t know how to do that yet.”
Asked about his likely arrest for vandalizing the star, Otis said, “I’m not frightened of jail and I’m certainly not frightened of Mr. Trump.”
Otis said he plans to eventually surrender to police, either Wednesday or Thursday, but he is still working out arrangements with his attorney.
Leron Gubler, president/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, said the star will be repaired, but the process will take several days, and the star will remain covered until that time to protect it.
“The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an institution celebrating the positive contributions of the inductees,” Gubler said. “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. Our Democracy is based on respect for the law. People can make a difference by voting and not destroying public property.”
Gubler said the chamber is working with police and intends to seek prosecution of the vandal — something that would be done for any Walk of Fame star that is vandalized.
Ana Martinez of the chamber said replacing the star is expected to cost “a few thousand dollars.” The cost of adding a brand new star to the walk — including the sponsorship and approval process, creating the star, staging the installation ceremony and ongoing repair and maintenance — is about $30,000, Martinez said.
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. “I’m usually always non-violent. It seems in this one instance I broke some stone and marble to make a point.
“I hope Mr. Trump understands that and gets the help he needs,” Otis said, suggesting Trump should receive therapy for violence against women. Otis said several members of his family have been victims of sexual assault.
Trump has vehemently denied accusations of mistreating women.
Trump’s Walk of Fame star has been targeted previously, with vandals painting a mute symbol of a speaker with a line through it in April, 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.
— City News Service