Trump Star Smasher Arrested Hours Before His Big News Conference
James Otis, the man who took a pick axe to Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, has been arrested, mere hours before he and his attorney intended to hold a news conference at the site of the shattered star. Otis was meant to appear this morning at 9:30 a.m. at Hollywood and Highland with his lawyer, Mieke ter Poorton, according to City News Service. Following the conference, he planned to walk to the LAPD Hollywood Station and turn himself over to authorities. Smashing a star on the boulevard is considered a felony, as each star is valued at $2,500.
Otis, who is either being praised as a valiant hero or decried as a lawless vandal, depending on who you ask, will not get the chance to illuminate us this morning. Police picked him up today at about 7 a.m., Deadline reports. He was leaving a house in West Hollywood at the time, and was said to be cooperative, according to TMZ.
Before 6 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Otis dressed as a construction worker to do the deed, donning an orange vest and a construction hat. You can see him smashing the star in the video below.
Otis told TMZ Live that he was attempting to remove the star, not destroy it. He said he is furious over the amount of women who have been sexually assaulted in the U.S. He had hoped to auction the star off on Election Day, then donate the proceeds to women who have allegedly been assaulted by Trump. This is not a completely far-fetched idea, as a statue of a nude Donald Trump created by artist collective INDECLINE was just auctioned off in West Hollywood for $22,000. The bulk of that sum is headed to an immigration nonprofit.
Otis told TMZ he's been arrested over 20 times for non-violent activism. Today, he will be booked into Men's Central Jail. If convicted of felony vandalism, he faces a maximum sentence of three years, and fines up to $10,000.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has already begun repairing the star. They have stated numerous times in the past that they have no intention of removing it, despite the fact that people have been drawing on it, building walls around it, and apparently, pooping on it.
"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," said Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Leron Gubler via a statement. "Our democracy is based on respect for the law. People can make a difference by voting and not destroying public property."