YouTuber Jake Paul charged with trespassing following Arizona looting
YouTube star Jake Paul was charged with trespassing after he allegedly entered an Arizona mall after it was looted last month, police said Thursday.
Paul, 23, was filming looting of the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall on May 30, according to video and a Scottsdale Police Department press release.
In footage of the looting, Paul is seen watching as rioters break into the mall. Paul later appears in footage that appears to show him inside the mall and filming inside of it after it had closed, according to video and the press release. It was unclear if Paul took anything from the mall.
The Scottsdale Police Department’s statement said that it “received hundreds of tips and videos identifying” Paul as “a participant in the riot.”
“Our investigation has revealed that Paul was present after the protest was declared an unlawful assembly and the rioters were ordered to leave the area by the police,” the statement read. “Paul also unlawfully entered and remained inside of the mall when it was closed.”
Paul has been charged with criminal trespass and unlawful assembly, which are both misdemeanors.
Sgt. Ben Hoster, public information officer, told NBC News that Paul was issued a summons to appear before an Arizona court in July.
Paul did not immediately respond to a request for comment made by NBC News after the charges were made public.
Prior to the charges being announced, Paul released a statement saying that he and his friends didn’t loot the mall but observed it happening.
“I do not condone violence, looting or breaking the law; however, I understand the anger and frustration that led to the destruction we witnessed, and while it’s not the answer, it’s important that people see it and collectively figure out how to move forward in a healthy way,” Paul said in a statement.
Paul said he and his friends spent the day joining in peaceful protests of “one of the most horrific injustices our country has ever seen,” according to the statement.
The statement was posted to Paul’s Twitter account after the video of him standing around filming while the mall was being looted surface.
Andrew Blankstein contributed.