LOS ANGELES–Rapper Kanye West was charged Friday with battery and attempted theft after he allegedly attacked a paparazzi photographer at Los Angeles International airport in July, officials said. Cameraman Daniel Ramos, who filmed the incident in which West allegedly attacked him and tried to seize his camera, filed a lawsuit last month alleging assault, battery and negligence against the U.S. rapper.
“When Kanye West attacked me, I was in complete shock,” Ramos told a news conference hosted by celebrity attorney Gloria Allred.
“All I had done was ask him a question. I was terrified when Kanye started to come at me. I backed up because I felt from the look in his eyes that he was going to attack me.” The lensman said he was left having to use crutches after the incident, and more recently a cane.
West’s lawyers claim the musician was only trying to prevent the photographer from taking his picture.
But lawyer Allred said: “Mr. West suddenly attacked Danny, punching him and attempting to wrestle Danny’s camera from his hands.” She added: “Danny held onto his camera and fell down onto his knees, onto the paved sidewalk with enough force that he sustained injuries to his right hip, was in great pain and had to be transported in an ambulance to the emergency room.” The mega-star musician, whose infant daughter, North, with reality TV star Kim Kardashian was born in June, is due to be arraigned on October 10 on one misdemeanor charge and one of attempted grand theft, the LA City Attorney’s office said. Prosecutors declined to press more serious felony charges, noting on Aug. 16 that the freelance photographer “did not sustain significant injury” and was released from the emergency room the same day.