T.I. opened up about his recent assault arrest Saturday as he made his way through Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.
The 37-year-old spoke with TMZ about the details in the incident in which he was taken into custody Wednesday in connection with simple assault, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness at a Georgia gated community where his home is located.
The rap artist, whose real name is Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., dispelled notions that the security guard involved with the incident might have harbored any grudges with him.
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Speaking out: T.I. spoke about his recent arrest at D.C.’s Reagan National Airport Saturday
‘I think that’s a premature conclusion to jump to, and it would be very presumptuous to do so,’ the Atlanta native said. ‘I can’t say that, I don’t know, it could be an isolated incident.’
The What You Know performer said that no one from the homeowner’s association had reached out to him regarding the incident to apologize.
‘Nah, not yet, I ant tripping man, everything happens in God’s time,’ he said, adding that his fame should not impact the incident in any way.
‘It doesn’t matter: What matters is, I’m a taxpaying citizen and a resident in that community, I pay my homeowner’s association fees … I have rights and this is an amenity, they work for us.’
Problem: T.I. was taken into custody Wednesday in connection with simple assault, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness
Show me some respect: T.I (above March) can be heard again, complaining the guard ‘disrespected him’ by not telling the rapper his name
Reasons: The rapper, above May 9, told The Blast that the arrest was racially motivated
Legal support: T.I’s attorney Steve Sadow took to Facebook to support his client’s story
The Live Your Life artist added, ‘I shouldn’t have to be a celebrity to be considered … I don’t even carry myself like that anyways.’
Audio from the incident’s 911 call seems to offer more insight into what happened leading up to the rapper’s arrest, published by TMZ on Thursday.
In the phone call, the security guard for a gated residential community tells authorities he is being ‘threatened by a resident’ as one can hear the Whatever You Like hitmaker shouting and intimidating the guard in the background.
The eight-minute audio begins with the guard saying: ‘A resident is walking back here at the guard shack where I’m at. I’ve been threatened by a resident and he’s here now knocking on the door.’
The rapper can be heard in the background knocking on the door aggressively while yelling at the guard.
‘You step back there? I own property here, you work for me. I asked you to step back.’
He continued to heckle the security worker while the man gives more details to the 911 operator.
T.I. can be heard again, complaining the guard ‘disrespected him’ by not telling the rapper his name.
Questions: On the tape, the 37-year-old is seen frustratingly trying and failing to get a satisfactory answer from arresting officers as to why he was brought there
The 911 operator asks what sparked the argument, the guard explains that T.I. was trying to get into the gated community but was stopped by the caller because he ‘didn’t know him.’
T.I.’s racket continues as he accused the guard of falling asleep at his post.
As the call goes on, the caller said that the altercation did not get physical.
The hip hop star was taken to Henry County Jail in Georgia on a charge of public drunkenness after authorities arrived and assessed the situation.
T.I. himself told The Blast on Wednesday that the arrest was racially motivated.
He claimed the altercation began with him calling out a security guard who was asleep on the job at his gated community; but escalated because of ‘white cops in a very white area.’
T.I’s attorney Steve Sadow took to Facebook to support his client’s story.
‘The guard continued to refuse entry without justification.’
‘Words were exchanged and apparently the guard and/or a supervisor called the police.’
According to TMZ, the Ant-Man actor tried to enter his own house in the early hours of the morning ‘but didn’t have his key.’
Previous arrests: The rapper was arrested in 2003 and charged with battery on a law enforcement officer among other charges [L]; and his 2010 mugshot [R] for alleged possession of a controlled substance
T.I. – who was with a friend at the time ‘argued with the guard at the security shack, who wouldn’t let them enter.’
In addition to the leaked 911 audio, the rapper was seen arguing with cops in leaked jailhouse security footage obtained by TMZ.
On the tape, the 37-year-old is seen frustratingly trying and failing to get a satisfactory answer from arresting officers as to why he was brought there.
‘I’ve been waiting… asked you a question as to why I had been arrested,’ he calmly asked, befor getting the reply ‘you were acting like a fool.’
‘I wasn’t acting like no fool. How was I acting like a fool?’ he fired back. ‘Because I was questioning the person?’
The officer, off camera, informs the accused the guard didn’t have to answer him, and that TI ‘didn’t have to come back’ to the scene after leaving.
‘I didn’t have to but I have a right to come back,’ he insisted. ‘I pay millions of dollars for a house in that community.’
Again he pushed: ‘I asked you a question and you never answered me,’ to which the officer replies: ‘You argue every time I answer you.’
‘No sir I am not arguing I am merely requesting an answer: why was I arrested?’ T.I. continued.
‘You said I was acting the fool. How So? You said because I came back, and I questioned a man….
‘You shouldn’t have came back,’ the officer again interjected.
‘I shouldn’t have came back? That’s my right as a tax-paying citizen!’ T.I. shot back indignantly.
Dapper: Wednesday’s incident is just the latest of T.I.’s legal woes. Seen here January 2018
After that, the officer frustrates him even further by simply replying ‘Okay’ to everything.
‘Why does that constitute for me to be arrested? Sir you still haven’t answered my question… you don’t answer any questions?
‘Well you’ll be answering to a lawyer at that point,’ he concluded, to which the officer replied: ‘That’d be awesome.’
Wednesday’s incident is just the latest of T.I.’s legal woes.
On the first of this month, the What You Know rapper’s business partner filed for bankruptcy of their Atlanta restaurant Scales 925, The Blast reported citing court documents.
Former employees have sued the company over unpaid wages, including overtime. There are those who say they were asked to work for free.
T.I. has attempted to wash his hands of these pay disputes, saying such matters had not been his purview.
It is possible the legal actions contributed to the decision to file for bankruptcy.
The Georgia Department Of Revenue and Internal Revenue Service have placed the restaurant on notice.
Scales 925 Atlanta opened in April 2015 and closed down about a year later, an event closely followed by the legal troubles over employee pay.
Only this March, T.I. and his wife Tiny got out from under a $1,397,283.47 IRS lien, having forked over more than $1 million in back taxes, Page Six reported.