May 16--Rapper T.I. believes he was arrested for being African-American in a "very white area" of Georgia after he was involved in an altercation with the security guard at his gated community.
T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr., was charged with public drunkenness, simple assault and disorderly conduct in Henry County, Ga., around 4 a.m. on Wednesday, according to the booking record obtained by the Daily News. The rapper spoke to The Blast Wednesday afternoon and claimed his arrest could be chalked up to law enforcement nearby being "white cops in a very white area."
The 37-year-old rapper was returning to his residence at the Eagles' Landing Country Club when he got into an argument with the guard on duty because he was sleeping on the job. It took T.I. some time to wake up the sleeping guard, according to his attorney, Steve Sadow.
T.I. told The Blast he gave the guard, who is black, every opportunity to apologize, but he "antagonized" him and escalated the situation.
He was refused entry by the guard as he didn't have his key and T.I. reportedly called a friend, who had a warrant out for his arrest, according to WSB-TV.
The "Live Your Life" singer reportedly asked the guard, "Don't you know who I am?" the local news station reported.
T.I.'s attorney issued a statement to the Daily News on Wednesday stating that the star was "wrongfully arrested."
"The guard continued to refuse entry without justification. Words were exchanged and apparently the guard and/or a supervisor called the police," the statement read. "When the police arrived, they were not interested in hearing Tip's side of the story and wrongfully chose to end the situation by arresting Tip."
T.I. was eventually allowed into the gates after an initial argument, but then returned on foot to confront the guard, according to TMZ. The guard then called cops as he feared he would be hit by T.I., TMZ reported.
Simple assault under Georgia law does not require physical contact, just the threat or feeling of being in danger. The rapper admitted to The Blast that he "may have" hurt the guard with his words, but never laid a hand on him.
Both T.I. and the unidentified friend were arrested after a call was made to police during the second interaction.
T.I. was released on his recognizance after paying $2,250 bail, according to the arrest record.
He is set to appear in court on May 17. T.I. also told The Blast he plans to pursue legal action against the homeowners' association over the incident.
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Hours after he was released, T.I. happily celebrated his son Major's 10th birthday.
The Henry County Police Department did not immediately respond to a Daily News request for comment.
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