Hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs had assault with a deadly weapon charge that had been filed against him dropped in connection with his having allegedly threatened his son’s football conditioning coach, Sal Alosi, at UCLA with a kettlebell. Combs, 45, was arrested on June 22 in regards to the incident during a visit to the campus to see his son, Justin, and he was charged with suspicion of having committed a felony. He posted bail and was soon released.
While the D.A. has decided not to press assault with a deadly weapon charge against Combs, he is not totally safe from being prosecuted yet. It is possible that the L.A. City Attorney’s Office might still file misdemeanor charges against him, though that is probably unlikely.
Combs has not denied that he swung a heavy metal kettlebell during an altercation with Alosi in the Bruins’ weight room, but he maintains that he was only acting in self-defense. He was allegedly caught on a security camera video tape in the act of swinging the kettlebell.
What Provoked Combs Enough to Wield a Kettlebell?
What was it that provoked Combs enough that he allegedly picked up a kettlebell and used it, as a means of self-defense, or otherwise? The full story of what prompted the rap star’s actions might never be known, but he was unhappy with Alosi for allegedly having mocked Justin and posting photos of him sitting courtside with Combs while the rest of the football team had to practice in the gym.
Alosi allegedly told the other Bruins on the football team that while they were at practice, “this guy is sitting courtside with his dad.” Later, the conditioning coach allegedly kicked Combs’ son off of the football field during a voluntary summer workout. Alosi was reportedly dissatisfied with the amount of effort that Justin was exhibiting and told him to get off the field, not only for the afternoon but for the entire summer.
When Combs went to Alosi’s office to discuss why the conditioning coach seemed so dissatisfied with his son, the situation between them rapidly deteriorated. One account of what happened is that Combs tore Alosi’s shirt and then the altercation spilled out of the conditioning coach’s office into the adjacent weight room at the Acosta Athletic Complex. Four or five interns rushed over, and the rapper allegedly then grabbed a kettlebell off of a rack of them and swung it int eh direction of various people there, including Alosi and at least one of the interns.
Why the Assault With Deadly Weapon Felony Charges Against Combs Were Dropped
Though prosecutors have not said why they chose to not to file the assault with a deadly weapon felony charges against the rapper, off of the record, a few law enforcement officials suggested that one of the reasons was that nobody was seriously hurt in the incident and combs swung the kettlebell at several people, not just Alosi and one of the interns.
Also, former L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley said that various other factors are looked at in similar assault with a deadly weapon cases, such as the criminal history of the person being charged, and the type of weapon or weapons used. Cooley added that it is common for felony charges to be reduced down, stating, “When there is an arrest, about half the time it goes down to a misdemeanor.”
As Dmitry Gorin, a defense attorney and former prosecutor put it, when these factors are taken into account combined with the fact that the altercation was one between a parent and a teacher, “rather than a street crime,” the argument for charging someone with a felony crime does not add up “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Aftermath of the Alleged Incident
The aftermath of the alleged incident in which Combs was arrested on felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon is that he continues to maintain he acted out of self-defense, and the felony charges have been dropped. He still might get charged with one or more misdemeanors, though, and Gorin stated that the rapper had “dodged a very big bullet.”
Mark Geragos, the attorney who is representing Combs in the matter, expressed his gratitude about the outcome to the LA Times about the D.A.’s plans to not go forward with “felony charges in this matter.” He did not believe that the charges should have ever been filed “to begin with.”
He added that he felt that the case brought against his client should not have ever “been part of the criminal justice system “
While the assault with a deadly weapon charge has been dropped as a felony charge against Combs, he might still wind up facing lesser charges. Also, how Alosi will act towards Justin in the future might be influenced by this incident, and might adversely have an impact on Justin’s playing time. The full aftermath of the incident is still ongoing, and further updates will follow as more information becomes available.
Written and Edited By Douglas Cobb
E! Online: Sean “Diddy” Combs Won’t Face Felony Charges
for Alleged Kettlebell Attack—but Case Isn’t Closed Yet
New York Daily News: Charges against Diddy have been dropped by prosecution
Los Angeles Times: Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs won’t face felony charges over UCLA arrest
Photo Courtesy of Daniel Incandela’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons 2.0