Man who says he destroyed Trump’s Walk of Fame star is booked on felony vandalism charge, police say
Pedestrians view the spot where Donald Trump’s star had been on the Hollywood Walk of Fame before it was vandalized on July 25, 2018.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Fernando Hurtado takes video of Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame after it was vandalized Aug. 25, 2018.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame after was vandalized July 25, 2018.(Jeff Amlotte / Los Angeles Times)
Journalists photograph Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame after a man took a pickax to the star on July 25, 2018.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
A Hollywood Boulevard Spider-Man surveys the damage as Gregg Donovan, the former official greeter for Beverly Hills, holds a “Trump 2020” sign in front of the president’s star.(Al Seib / Los Angeles TImes)
A man who said he took a pickax to Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame early Wednesday has given himself up to police, authorities said.
The man strode up to Trump’s star off Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue about 3:30 a.m. and proceeded to destroy the majority of it, including bashing through Trump’s name plate, police said.
The man was carrying the pickax in a guitar case, according to KNBC-TV.
After bashing through the plaque, the man “called police and advised he had vandalized Donald Trump’s star and basically called on himself and said, ‘See you soon,’” said Lt. Karen Leong of the LAPD’s Hollywood Division.
Private security officers in the area attempted to intervene but couldn’t stop the man because they don’t have police powers, she said.
“I think they did the best they could,” she added.
By the time officers arrived at the scene, the man was gone, Leong said.
However, about an hour later, officials say he walked up to Beverly Hills police headquarters, identified himself and said he wanted to turn himself in.
LAPD officers picked him up soon afterward and took him into custody.
Police identified the man as 24-year-old Austin Clay. He was booked on suspicion of felony vandalism and is being held on $20,000 bail, jail records show.
Since the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump’s star has endured several publicized episodes of vandalism, including a spray-painted swastika and “mute” icon. People who notice it as they pass by have been seen stomping on it, spitting on it and writing on it. A photo of a pile of dog poop on the star went viral two years ago.
In October 2016, a man was caught on video bashing the star with a sledgehammer. He was charged with felony vandalism.
Thus far, Walk of Fame officials have not blinked in the face of the repeated attacks on the star and continue to keep it publicly displayed.
Noon: This article was updated with the identity of the suspect.
6:30 a.m.: This article was updated with additional background on vandalism to President Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
This article was originally published at 6:15 a.m.
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