Clark County prosecutors have dropped a felony robbery case against gangster rapper YG just days before it was due to go to trial. The 32-year-old Scared Money star was accused of ripping a gold chain from a fan’s neck at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas in May 2019.
YG, real name Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson, was arrested the following June in 2018 after surrendering to police during an initial court appearance at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. He was charged with robbery and grand larceny, which he denied, and released on $20,000 bail.
Defense lawyer Gia Marina told Rolling Stone Monday that prosecutors dropped the charges because the alleged victim “no longer wanted to pursue the case” because he was out of state.
Jackson’s lead lawyer, Joe Tacopina, added that there had been an out of court settlement of a civil case brought by the victim. But this wasn’t an admission of guilt, he added.
“YG didn’t steal his chain,” Tacopina said. “This was a nuisance settlement. The man lost his neck chain during a scuffle. This was an out-of-court settlement that is confidential.”
Prosecutors claimed Jackson was walking through the casino at around 4am on May 27, 2018, with his entourage of around a dozen people when the fan approached to ask for a selfie.
When the group pushed the man away, he responded that Jackson was not a “big celebrity anyway.”
“Once he made that remark, the group of men turned on him and started following him,” according to the arrest report. The victim told police that Jackson then ripped the man’s chain off his neck, which was worth between $3,000 and $9,000.
Casino surveillance video shows the rapper walking away from the confrontation with “a shiny object in his hand,” according to court documents.
The unnamed victim sued Jackson independently and was reported by TMZ to have been seeking $250,000 in damages.
Compton native Jackson is a self-confessed member of the Bloods street gang. This wasn’t the first time his alleged behavior towards a fan has gotten him in trouble. In October 2019, he invited 17-year-old Austin Joyner on stage and encouraged him to chant “Fuck Donald Trump.”
When Joyner refused, Jackson pushed him, called him a racist, and ordered him off stage. Joyner later claimed he was told to leave the concert because Jackson had “put a target on my back.”
Jackson was also arrested in 2020 at his home in Los Angeles County on suspicion of robbery, just days before he was scheduled to perform at the Grammys. Charges in that case were also dropped.
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