The man who took a sledgehammer to Donald Trump’s star on the Walk of Fame and destroyed it, said that he’s prepared to go to jail if necessary. “I think I’ll have to handle the consequences of what I’ve done,” said James Otis, who could face three years in jail for the act of vandalism. However, Otis does not seem to be upset about his charges. “I will gladly pay the money if I have to and if I must go to jail, I will.”
Contemplating Whether He Should Turn Himself in Or Not
Sounding calm on Wednesday, October 26th, Otis said that he had spoken to the LAPD since the incident took place, and is now pondering whether to turn himself in. “Either today or tomorrow, if we can do it today by 5 PM that’ll be fine with me.” Otis revealed. Saying he would likely surrender at the Hollywood Police Station.
“I’m happy to go to trial,” he added, saying that he will be talking to lawyers soon. Once he gets legal advice, though, that happiness might diminish. In the state of California, being found guilty of a felony vandalism charge could result in 1-3 years in jail, and a fine of $10,000 or more if the damage is more than $400, which in this case, it is.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is responsible for the more than 2,500 stars that are currently featured on the Walk of Fame. They say that they want to see the guilty party punished to “the full extent of the law.”
So, instead of making Donald Trump himself angry because of the damage to his star, Otis made the Chamber of Commerce who is responsible for the popular sidewalk attraction and pays for the maintenance of the site, angry instead. Mission Fail.
Despite the fact that he smashed Trump’s star during the early morning hours, Otis was unsuccessful in removing the tribute to the Presidential candidate. His plan was to auction off the star next month to raise money for the 11 women who have come forward recently to accuse Trump of sexual assault over the years.
“This sounds more like a publicity stunt than a political statement,” the Hollywood chamber president-CEO Leron Gubler said. “We have filed a police report and are talking to the City Attorney’s office.” He noted that the Walk of Fame sidewalk is actually the property of the City of Los Angeles and jurisdictional matters still need to be determined. “We are watching events unfold with interest,” Gubler said.
Update As of October 27th 2016
As of 8:14AM this morning, James Otis is now in police custody in LA and waiting to be formally booked at the Men’s Central jail in downtown Los Angeles. He was the only suspect in the early Wednesday morning destruction of the star, and was arrested by the LAPD sometime around 7 AM today.
Otis had planned on holding a press conference at 9:30 AM this moring on Hollywood Blvd. at the location of Trump’s star (which is already being repaired). Accompanied by his lawyer, Otis was going to head over to the Hollywood Police station and turn himself in.
With damages of more than $400, the felony vandalism charge could see Otis in jail for up to 3 years and paying out fines of over $10,000 if he is found guilty. The Los Angeles Police Department and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce estimated on Wednesday that the damage Otis’ sledgehammer and pick-ax did to the nearly-decade old star was around $2,500. The Chamber of Commerce, who administers the Walk of Fame for the city, quickly had a repair crew out in front of the Dolby Theatre yesterday working on getting the smashed star back in shape after Otis’ 5:45 AM attack. The process to repair the star will take around a week to complete.
James Otis is the heir to an elevator company known as Otis Elevator Company. He has told authorities and other reporters that he does not regret smashing the star. He told TMZ that
“The reason I did it was because of the amount of sexual assaults that not only my own family has experienced but that the many women Donald trump has done this to, and the point of this exercise was totake the star and auction it off on election day… and take that money and distribute it to the woen who have been sexually assaulted by Donald Trump along with the George Washington Republicans who are against sexual assault.”