LOS ANGELES – Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was defaced by a vandal wielding a sledgehammer and a pick-axe on Wednesday in an act captured on video, police said.
Los Angeles police expect to arrest someone for the vandalism, which left Trump’s name scratched out of the star, the emblem in the middle dislodged and chips missing.
A video posted at Deadline.com, a Hollywood media industry website, showed a man wearing a hard-hat and reflective vest swinging a sledgehammer and pick-axe in the pre-dawn darkness.
(To see the Deadline.com video, click on this link: http://bit.ly/2dWGEdf )
The area had been cordoned off with traffic barriers and cones, giving it the appearance of a legitimate work site.
The Republican presidential nominee, real estate developer and reality TV star has faced several large protests during his campaign appearances in California, where polls show him far behind Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The former host of the NBC show “The Apprentice,” Trump received his Walk of Fame star in 2007. A spokeswoman for Trump could not be reached for comment.
Los Angeles police spokeswoman Liliana Preciado at the scene confirmed investigators have video capturing the vandalism attack and she said police expected to arrest whoever was responsible.
Los Angeles-based City News Service reported a man identifying himself as James Lambert Otis said he damaged the installation “to make a point.”
City News reported the man said he had family members who were victims of sexual assault and had intended to remove the star, which he was unable to do, and auction it off to benefit women who have alleged Trump groped them. Trump has denied the allegations.
Otis could not be reached for comment on the report.
Trump drew widespread condemnations from voters and a number of Republican elected officials after a 2005 video emerged in which he was heard talking on an open microphone about groping women and trying to seduce a married woman.
His star on the Walk of Fame was previously targeted.
In the summer, a street artist erected a tiny wall around the star, complete with miniature American flags and barbed wire. The art piece, which was later removed, made light of Trump’s campaign pledge to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce administers the hundreds of star plaques on sidewalks in the Los Angeles neighborhood. They are purchased for $30,000 each.
Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the chamber, said in a statement the star would be covered for several days during repairs.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by David Gregorio)