Struggling rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine’s bodyguards turned New York City into the Wild West last summer, cramming into SUVs and chasing a man 20 blocks with flashing lights after attempting to record a cell phone video of the recording star, prosecutors said Monday.
Five members of 6ix9ine’s security team, including a retired NYPD detective accused of lying and trying to cover up the incident, were charged Monday with theft, identity theft and other charges stemming from the lawsuit last August in Harlem.
Tekashi 6ix9ine, real name Daniel Hernandez, has not been charged.
“A celebrity entourage is not a police department, and Manhattan is not the Wild West,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a written statement announcing the indictments.
“As alleged, these highly paid vigilantes marched through the streets of Harlem with flashing sirens in an attempt to track down a man and steal and break his phone,” Vance said.
Former NYPD detective Daniel Laperuta falsely told police and a 911 dispatcher that the man being chased threatened the 6ix9ine team with a gun, Vance said.
When 6ix9ine’s bodyguards finally confronted the man, locking him up with their SUVs near the Apollo Theater, they knocked out his cell phone and stomped on him, Vance said.
As the man struggled with one of the bodyguards in an attempt to retrieve the phone, Laperuta approached with his hand on his pistol in its holster and another bodyguard pointed a stun gun at him. man, Vance said.
The security team fled in the SUVs as an unmarked police car arrived with flashing lights, Vance said.
Laperuta pleaded not guilty on Monday and was due to post bail on Monday afternoon. Other members of the security team were due to be brought to justice later Monday.
Laperuta’s attorney, Todd Cushner, said he was reviewing the charges against the former detective.
“For the most part, they’re unfounded,” Cushner said.
Online court records do not list lawyers for other indicted Tekashi 6ix9ine security team members. Messages requesting comment have been left with attorneys who have represented the rapper in the past.
6ix9ine, originally from Brooklyn, rose to fame as a hip-hop artist after becoming a social media phenomenon with millions of Instagram followers. He had a multi-platinum hit song, “Fefe,” starring Nicki Minaj, which peaked at No. 3 on the pop charts in 2018, and “Stoopid,” starring incarcerated rapper Bobby Shmurda.
Since then he has been in and out of court – and out of jail.
Facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 37 years in prison for gang crimes, including orchestrating a shootout that injured an innocent passer-by, 6ix9ine began cooperating with federal prosecutors and testifying against gang members, the Nines. Trey Gangsta Bloods.
He also said two men kidnapped him in July 2018, forcing him into a stolen car at gunpoint and sometimes stopping to beat and taunt him before taking him to his Brooklyn home. and steal a bag full of jewelry.
6ix9ine’s cooperation won him leniency from prosecutors and contempt from fellow rappers, with Snoop Dogg calling him a “snitch.” In December 2019, 6ix9ine was sentenced to two years in federal prison. A few months later, a judge ordered his removal home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Testifying in 2019, Tekashi 6ix9ine explained to jurors that his role in the Nine Trey gang was to “keep making hits and being the financial backer … so they can buy guns and stuff like that.” .
Asked what he got in return, 6ix9ine replied, “My career. I have street cred. The videos, the music, the protection, all of the above.
Follow Michael Sisak on Twitter at twitter.com/mikesisak
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