NEW YORK (AP) _ Rapper Busta Rhymes was arrested after a man complained that the hip-hop star had beaten him up in a dispute over money, police said. Rhymes, 34, turned himself in and was booked on a misdemeanor assault charge at a Manhattan police station Wednesday night, police Lt. John Grimpel said.
Wearing a red, long-sleeved shirt and jeans, Rhymes was led out of the station late Wednesday. An arraignment was expected Thursday, said Barbara Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
One of Rhymes’ lawyers, Scott Leemon, declined to comment Thursday morning. Representatives of the Manhattan district attorney’s office did not immediately return telephone messages left at after-hours numbers. Grimpel said a man told police that Rhymes had punched and kicked him numerous times in a confrontation outside a lower Manhattan building on Dec. 26. The man, whose name was not released, was treated at a hospital after the incident, Grimpel said. A message left Thursday morning at the New York office of Rhymes’ manager, Violator Management, was not immediately returned.
Rhymes, who was born Trevor Smith, was charged with assault after an Aug. 12 performance at the AmsterJam Music Festival on New York City’s Randalls Island. He was ticketed in November after police said he was seen talking on his cell phone while driving past a Manhattan police station. A New York state law sets fines for motorists caught speaking on cell phones.
Police have also sought to question Rhymes as a potential witness in the shooting death of his bodyguard Israel Ramirez last February.
Rhymes’ hits include "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See," "Dangerous" and "Touch It." He has also appeared in films, including 2000’s "Shaft" and "Finding Forrester."