An activist who was prosecuted for using a pickaxe and sledgehammer to smash President Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016, and on Oct. 5, has been arrested for vandalizing the star a second time this month.
James Otis, 56, allegedly used a pickaxe again to destroy the star on Friday morning, and surrendered to police shortly afterward, according to TMZ. Trump’s star was already covered in plywood and surrounded by fencing after the 56-year-old was accused of destroying it with a pick axe earlier this month.
Otis was arrested at 7:05 a.m. Friday in the 6200 block of Hollywood Boulevard, a little less than a mile away from Trump’s star, which is located near the intersection of Hollywood and Highland Avenue, according to Officer Drake Madison of the Los Angeles Police Department.
He was booked for felony vandalism and his bail was set at $45,000, Madison said. He posted bail and was released shortly after 1 p.m., according to sheriff’s department records.
This is at least the third time that Otis has been arrested for vandalizing Trump’s star.
On Oct. 5, hours after Trump announced his COVID-19 diagnosis, Otis allegedly smashed the star while dressed as the Incredible Hulk.
Four years earlier, on Oct. 26, 2016, he destroyed the star while dressed as a construction worker, later pleading no contest to felony vandalism.
He was sentenced to three years probation, 20 days of community service and agreed to pay $4,400 for the damage.
Otis told City News Service in 2016 that his original plan was to remove Trump’s entire star, then auction it off in New York on election day and give the proceeds to women who alleged they were groped or sexually mistreated by Trump, who has denied the allegations.
Otis said he was unable to remove the entire star, because the “stone was like marble” and it “would have taken an hour.” Instead, dressed in a construction vest and hardhat, he smashed it with a sledgehammer and pickaxe, removing Trump’s brass-colored name and the television logo. The act was caught on video and posted online.
Asked then about the prospect of arrest, Otis said, “I’m not frightened of jail and I’m certainly not frightened of Mr. Trump. What punishment I get is fine.”
Trump received his star in 2007 at the height of his nearly 12-year stint as host of the NBC reality show “The Apprentice.”
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