Did Busta Bust Up an Innocent Fan?
Tue, 07 Mar 2006 10:31:12
As public and police scrutiny over the shooting death of his bodyguard Israel Ramirez intensifies, rapper Busta Rhymes is in more trouble, this time in the form of a lawsuit filed by one Melvin Smith. Smith, 37, claims that he approached Rhymes on September 6th in the hopes of getting an autograph. Instead, Rhymes and companion Troy Green allegedly "maliciously assaulted, beat, pushed and shoved" Smith.
Smith was subsequently charged with third-degree assault, third-degree attempted assault and second-degree harassment. He will appear in court in April to answer those charges. Rhymes was not charged. But in this new lawsuit, Smith claims that the beating he endured -- which caused neck and back injuries, as well as four stitches above his right eye -- left him unable to continue working as a handyman. He is seeking unspecified damages.
"Melvin went in to get an autograph and got a knuckle sandwich instead," summarized Bruce Regenstreich, Smith's attorney.
In the meantime, police continue to hope to have a sit down with Rhymes to see what the rapper can tell them about the events leading up to Ramirez's shooting. His refusal to cooperate has resulted in a beating in the press, and Rhymes responded to his media attackers during a recent concert: "F*** the media," he declared.
-- The ARTISTdirect Staff