crimesider

"Tyler, the Creator" charged with inciting a riot at SXSW

Rapper Tyler Gregory Okonma - a.k.a. Tyler, the Creator - was arrested Saturday, March 15, 2014 for allegedly inciting a riot during a show at the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. AP

AUSTIN, Texas - Rapper "Tyler, the Creator" was arrested Saturday on misdemeanor charges of inciting a riot at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin.

Hours later, after being released from jail, he played a sold-out show in Dallas.

The 23-year-old rapper - given name Tyler Gregory Okonma and a member of the Odd Future rap collective - was arrested at Austin-Bergstrom Airport on Saturday. Police say the Los Angeles resident incited a large crowd of fans to push their way past employees at the Scoot Inn in downtown Austin controlling access to an unofficial Thursday party that was already at capacity.

According to CBS DFW, the arrest affidavit in the case accused the rapper of yelling to the crowd outside the gates, "All y'all outside the gates, y'all push through!"

Officers who were at the scene said in a warrant that "Tyler" yelled for fans to push their way inside twice, and that a bartender had to protect a woman from injury in the resulting push.

CBS DFW reports that police said the crowd was at first hesitant to listen to the musician. A second encouragement, "Y'all push through, come on!" enticed the fans enough to charge through employees blocking the way.

Police released a video from the concert that shows scores of fans bursting through a gate.

"Regardless of the size of a crowd, the encouragement of unruly and unlawful behavior is against the law and cannot be tolerated," read a press release issued by Austin police, reports CBS DFW.

The inciting to riot charge against Tyler, the Creator carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Tyler and members of the Odd Future collective were denied a visa to travel to New Zealand in February after officials there said they were a potential "public threat" because of past troubles, "including incidents at past performances in which they have incited violence." They pointed to a 2011 incident in which police were called to a comic book store in Boston where fans became unruly.

The group's manager, Christian Clancy, defended them last month after the New Zealand decision, saying they were young at the time and were being judged too harshly.


  • Crimesider Staff

Comments

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.