HOLLYWOOD (NBC) — President Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was destroyed Wednesday morning by a man with a pickax that witnesses say he concealed in a guitar case, police said.
Officers were called around 3:30 a.m. to the star’s location on Hollywood Boulevard near Highland Avenue, where they found a small pile of rubble in place of the star that Trump received in January 2007 for his role in the NBC show “The Apprentice.”
The star-smashing suspect, who reported the crime to police, later turned himself in to Beverly Hills police, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The pickax was left at the scene.
The man’s identity was not immediately available.
Witness David Palmer said he is accustomed to seeing the unusual on Hollywood Boulevard, where tourists mingle with street performers dressed as superheroes and other characters, but he was surprised to see the Walk of Fame vandalism.
“I’m like, ‘Why are you hitting that star? What did Donald Trump do to you?'” Palmer told NBC4. “Then he went around the corner and I think he left.
Workers were sweeping up the shattered remains of the star early Wednesday. It was not immediately clear when repairs will begin.
As daylight arrived, Walk of Fame visitors stopped to take pictures of the smashed star and have a closer look. One man placed an exercise pullup-bar on top of the crumbled remains.
This is at least the second time Trump’s star has been vandalized in the last two years. In October 2016, a man dressed as a construction worker smashed the star with a pickax and sledgehammer. James Otis pleaded no contest to felony vandalism in February 2017 and was sentenced to three years probation, 20 days of community service and agreed to pay $4,400 for the damage.
Also in 2016, the star was defaced by spray paint and even surrounded by an artist’s 6-inch high wall, a miniature representation of then-candidate Trump’s border wall proposal.
Walk of Fame star recipients are selected by a committee that considers hundreds of applications each year. The stars are purchased for $30,000, rather than gifted.
The Walk of Fame is administered by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which did not immediately issue a statement about the damage or repairs.