Kanye West named as a suspect in criminal battery case

by Ricardo Johnson

Kanye West has reportedly been named as a suspect in the Los Angeles Police Department’s investigation into a recent battery report.

According to Variety , LAPD spokesperson Redina Puentes said the alleged incident took place outside of Soho Warehouse, a members-only club in downtown LA, in the early hours of this morning (January 13) around 3am.

Fox 11 broke the news earlier in the day, with sources saying a fan was allegedly struck by West after a heated exchange.

“A fan says he saw Kanye sitting in his car and walked up to the window to ask him for an autograph,” journalist Gigi Graciette said in her televised report. “Words were exchanged – what those words are, well, that’s all part of the police investigation – but the fan told officers that Kanye jumped out of his car, called him some … words not suitable for television, and then punched him, knocking him to the ground.”

Graciette noted that West is under investigation by police, however the alleged incident is being treated as a misdemeanour battery case – which carries a maximum jail sentence of six months – meaning it’s unlikely West will be formally charged.

Shortly after the news was aired, TMZ posted a video of West engaging in a heated exchange between two unknown figures in a public street. The surreptitiously filmed clip, said to be shot “sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning”, appears to show West yelling: “Did y’all say that or not? Because that’s what happening right fucking now.”

The publication reported that West was seen earlier in the night at West Hollywood supper club Delilah.

NME has reached out to representatives of West for comment.

The news comes just hours after West was announced as one of three headliners for this year’s Coachella (alongside Billie Eilish and Harry Styles), where he’s billed under his legal name, Ye. Yesterday (January 12) also saw the rapper reveal that he’s planning to release a new song – likely featuring Pusha T, The Game and DJ Premier – later this week.

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In more unusual news, it was reported on Wednesday (January 11) that West was planning a trip to Moscow later this year, where he would host a performance with his Sunday Service troupe and meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. A representative for West later called the reports “entirely fabricated”.

This week has also seen West share a new music video for the ‘DONDA’ cut ‘Heaven And Hell’, as well as a trailer for the forthcoming Netflix documentary Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy . At the start of the week, footage emerged of Kanye letting a fan freestyle for him in a New York City street.