Man charged with smashing Trump’s Walk of Fame star says it was a protest against ‘sexual violence’
A man who smashed US president-elect Donald Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star with a sledgehammer and pickax has been charged with vandalism over the act which he described as a protest against Trump’s “sexual violence” against women.
James Otis, 52, faces one felony count of vandalism for causing more than US$400 in damage to the star, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Otis was scheduled to be arraigned Friday in downtown Los Angeles.
The October 26 attack, which was caught on video, shows Otis hacking away at the pavement and the star’s embellishments.
Clad in a hard hat and construction vest, the Beverly Hills resident said he spent weeks planning the “nonviolent action.”
He even spent a couple of nights near the star, assessing the area in the Hollywood and Highland complex.
Otis said he had disdain for Trump and his attitude toward women.
“I just sort of had enough with Mr Trump’s aggressive language toward women and his behaviour, his sexual violence with women and against women,” Otis said. “I’ve had personally in my own family four people who have been assaulted or have had sexual violence happen to them. It all became very personal.”
Trump has called such accusations false.
After smashing the star, Otis removed the centre TV emblem, some letters of Trump’s name and a small piece of the star.
He kept the brass pieces, which he said he planned to auction off to raise money for women who accused Trump of assault as well as a college organisation working to end sexual violence on campuses.
Los Angeles police estimated the damage at US$2,500. Otis has said he would “gladly pay [for] the damages to the site.”
If convicted, Otis faces up to three years in jail.