US rapper Kanye West charged over paparazzo attack

Kanye West (26 August 2013) Prosecutors refused to press more serious felony charges against Kanye West because his alleged victim sustained only minor injuries

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US rapper Kanye West has been charged with battery and attempted theft over a fight with a photographer at Los Angeles Airport in July.

Paparazzo Daniel Ramos sued Mr West after the singer apparently punched him and threw his camera to the ground.

Lawyers for the international music star said he had only been trying to prevent the photographer from taking his picture.

If found guilty, he faces a maximum penalty of six months in prison.

Prosecutors refused to press more serious felony charges because the alleged victim sustained only minor injuries.

'Terrified'

The altercation took place on 19 July when several paparazzi, including Mr Ramos, were waiting for the rapper's arrival at the airport.

A video posted on celebrity news website TMZ purported to show Mr West appearing visibly irritated by the photographers' presence.

He is then said to have lunged at Mr Ramos and tried to seize his equipment.

"When Kanye West attacked me, I was in complete shock," Mr Ramos told reporters.

"All I had done was ask him a question. I was terrified when Kanye started to come at me. I backed up because I felt from the look in his eyes that he was going to attack me."

He added that he had been forced to use crutches and a cane after the incident.

Mr West's arraignment has been set for 10 October.

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