Rapper Vanilla Ice Arrested on Charge of Brandishing Gun

<i> From Associated Press</i>

Rap singer Vanilla Ice was arrested early Monday for investigation of pulling a handgun on a man who tried to sell him a piece of jewelry in a supermarket parking lot, police said.

Vanilla Ice, whose legal name is Robert Van Winkle, was booked for investigation of brandishing a weapon and released on his own recognizance after the 2:15 a.m. incident, said Lt. Michael Ranshaw.

The case was referred to the city attorney’s office for possible prosecution. Brandishing a firearm is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of one year in county jail or an unspecified fine.


Vanilla Ice was unavailable for comment and his publicist, Elaine Shock, declined to discuss the matter.

The rapper, who gained stardom and controversy as a white performer in a predominantly black music form, crossed over to pop charts with the No. 1 hit single “Ice Ice Baby” and his “To the Extreme” album.

He has been dogged by claims that he invented his street-wise persona.

The rapper was sitting in a car with three men outside a Ralph’s supermarket when a man approached and offered to sell a piece of jewelry, Ranshaw said.

The man told police that Vanilla Ice took out a pistol and ordered him to leave the area.

The man, whose name was withheld, ran to a telephone and called police, saying he believed the men in the car were about to rob the store.

A 9-millimeter pistol found in Vanilla Ice’s vehicle was confiscated, as was another handgun taken from one of his companions, Aaron Martin, said Ranshaw.

Martin was arrested for investigation of carrying a concealed weapon.

The two other men were released.

The city attorney has 10 days to decide whether to file charges.