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Trump's Hollywood star smashed with a pickaxe

October 27, 2016

US police are investigating an attack on Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, after the symbol was damaged with a pickaxe and a sledgehammer. A self-proclaimed activist claimed responsibility in a video.

USA beschädigter Trump Hollywood Stern
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/R. Vogel

The alleged vandal, who identified himself as James Lambert Otis, said he approached the star before dawn on Wednesday and tried to remove it using his tools.

Otis' original plan was to steal and auction off the star, and then use the money to support women who accused Trump of sexual violence and harassment. But he claims he was unable to lift slab displaying Trump's name.

"It was very difficult. The stone was like marble - hard to get through," he says in the online video.

According to the video, he then used the pickaxe and the sledgehammer to damage symbol honoring Trump and left the scene before police arrived.

Not 'frightened' of Trump

The self-proclaimed activist described himself as "terribly upset" with the presidential candidate, who is currently fending off sexual misconduct allegations from about a dozen different women.

"Four of my family members were sexually assaulted," Otis said in the video published by the celebrity gossip site TMZ.

He added that he had been arrested many times over his activism and that he intended to surrender himself to the police.

"I'm not frightened of jail, and I'm certainly not frightened of Mr Trump," he said. "He is just a bully."

Sledgehammer and pickaxe found

Los Angeles police said they were aware of the clip but could not yet comment on whether Otis was a suspect. The officers recovered the construction tools, a hard hat and a vest near the scene, according to the authorities.

"We have surveillance video as well as video that has been uploaded to the internet that our detectives are taking a look at, and they are confident they will be able to identify the suspect," police spokeswoman Liliana Preciado told the AFP news agency.

Trump was awarded the Hollywood star in 2007 for his work on the reality show "The Apprentice." However, the symbol has been repeatedly vandalized since the beginning of his presidential bid last year. It has been smeared with excrement, walled off in reference to Trump's plan to build a wall on the Mexican border, and marked with both a swastika and a mute symbol.

The landmark will be fully repaired in several days, according to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which is responsible for the maintenance of the Walk of Fame.

"When people are unhappy with one of our honorees, we would hope that they would project their anger in more positive ways than to vandalize a California State landmark," the Chamber's president Leron Gubler wrote in a statement. "People can make a difference by voting and not destroying public property."

dj/gsw (AFP, AP, dpa)