YouTube star is accused of vandalism after saying he was attacked near a WeHo gay club

A YouTube star who said he was brutally assaulted by three men in West Hollywood faces charges that he vandalized a car before filing a false police report about being attacked, authorities said Thursday.

Los Angeles County prosecutors allege that Calum McSwiggan, known by thousands of fans for his YouTube channel about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, damaged a car mirror and bumper June 27 in West Hollywood.

Prosecutors also allege that McSwiggan, 26, then contended he had been beaten by the vehicle’s driver and two other men and lied about the purported attack to sheriff’s deputies.

McSwiggan, a resident of London who was visiting Southern California, pleaded not guilty Monday to the felony vandalism charge as well as the misdemeanor false police report charge.

If convicted of both counts, he faces up to three years and six months in county jail.


The charges add to a saga that initially played out in dramatic fashion on McSwiggan’s social media accounts.

McSwiggan wrote in an Instagram post that after visiting a gay club this summer in West Hollywood, three men attacked him, injuring his forehead and breaking three of his teeth. He faulted “authorities” for not protecting him and for treating him like a “second-class citizen.”

“I’ve never felt so terrified to be a gay man in the public eye,” he wrote in a post, which showed him in a hospital.

But McSwiggan’s allegations prompted a swift response by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which took the rare steps of issuing a public statement and his booking photo to counter his allegations.

The Sheriff’s Department confirmed that deputies responded to a reported assault but that investigators “were unable to substantiate the assault,” according to a statement. McSwiggan was then arrested on suspicion of vandalism of a car along Santa Monica Boulevard near Robertson Boulevard, in the heart of the city’s LGBT nightlife district, authorities said.

Before being placed in his jail cell, deputies had McSwiggan stand for a booking photo, which appears to show no obvious injuries.

Sheriff’s officials said McSwiggan was seen “injuring himself” with a payphone inside his jail cell. He was later taken to a hospital for treatment.

After being released from custody, he recounted in a Facebook post being punched and kicked but also acknowledged damaging a car.

“In a moment of devastation, anger and blind rage, I kicked the wing mirror of the attacker’s car until it broke and then ripped it off with my hands,” McSwiggan wrote.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 7.

Twitter: @MattHjourno.


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