Terrorist Threats - 9/17/98
Wanted on multiple warrants in Virginia for failing to answer charges of shoplifting, notorious Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard was arrested again Wednesday night, this time for making terrorist threats against security at a West Hollywood club, according to police.
Arrested under his real name, Russell Tyrone Jones, ODB (a.k.a. Big Baby Jesus) spent the night in jail and was released on $50,000 bail at 2:30 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 17) after police said he threatened to kill security at the House of Blues when he was kicked out of the club.
Sitting on a bench in the lobby area of the sheriff's department at about 2:45 p.m., ODB appeared calm but a bit frazzled as he waited with a representative of his management's office for his release paperwork to be completed.
Asked about his arrest, the normally outspoken rapper thought for several seconds and looked over at the representative before calmly replying, "I really don't have a comment right now."
Clad in a white shirt and baggy blue jeans, with his hair tied back in braids, ODB sat hunched over and pressed his long fingernails together as he talked briefly about what fans can expect from him musically. "My albums and more albums," ODB said.
ODB had been attending a Des'ree concert at the House of Blues with a female companion Wednesday night when police say the Wu-Tang Clan member and solo artist began causing a commotion inside the club. He was taken out by security and told he would not be allowed back into the venue, according to Lt. Dave Long of the West Hollywood Sheriff's Department.
At that point, ODB began threatening the staff at the club, saying he would return with "his homies" to kill them, Long said.
"He was causing a disturbance inside the nightclub, and some of the patrons were complaining about his behavior," Long said. "Security asked him to step outside, and once he did so, they informed him that he would not be returning to the nightclub. He became extremely upset and started uttering threats at the establishment and the security guards, and they called the police."
Long said ODB threatened to "basically come back with his homies of his clan to kill them," adding that the rapper was addressing the security guards and that the language he used may have been somewhat different.
Joshua Mills, a spokesperson for the House of Blues, had only one comment on the matter. "A minor incident occurred here [Wednesday] night," he said, adding that the alleged incident has been "blown out of proportion."
ODB's New York attorney, Peter Frankel, said Thursday afternoon (Sept. 17) that he had few details on the alleged incident and offered only a succinct comment. "We'll be dealing with it," he said. The rapper's arraignment date is set for Oct. 8.
Long said there was no indication on the police report that ODB -- who attended Shaquille O'Neal's CD-release party in Hollywood the night before the alleged incident -- was drunk at the time of his arrest. He added that his office is checking into whether an arrest warrant for a "Russell Jones" on a traffic violation is the same person as ODB.
Sandi Gibbons, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, said the maximum punishment for making a terrorist threat is three years in jail.
For ODB, the House of Blues arrest is only the latest in a months-long string of legal escapades.
In Virginia, the rapper is still considered a fugitive by local authorities. Last month, a judge in Virginia Beach, Va., issued three warrants for ODB's arrest on contempt-of-court charges, after the rapper failed to appear on three occasions for hearings on charges of shoplifting a pair of $50 Nike sneakers in July.
Each of the contempt charges, plus the original shoplifting charge, carries a maximum fine of $2,500 and/or a year in prison. Frankel had no comment on the shoplifting matter on Thursday.
Long was not aware of ODB's fugitive status in Virginia but said it had no bearing in this case. "I would think for something as small as that, they're not going to extradite him ... they'll just slap it on him if he shows back in Virginia," Long said.
Only days before the alleged shoplifting incident, ODB himself was the victim of what police say was a robbery and shooting in Brooklyn, N.Y. Police have yet to make an arrest in that case.
In addition, the rapper also has been the alleged victim of a car theft and has appeared in court on several occasions to address since-resolved charges of nonpayment of child support.
ODB recently completed a solo tour, the first by a member of the highly acclaimed Wu-Tang Clan rap crew.
Copyright 2002, The Original Free ODB Coalition