On Saturday, rapper Coolio and his entourage were arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) after a loaded firearm was allegedly discovered in the carry-on bag belonging to the rapper during security screening. The loaded gun he tried to get through the TSA is also said to have been a stolen one.
Reports say that security officials originally detained a 39-year-old man who was Coolio’s bodyguard, and when the agents spoke of the firearm detected in the carry-on, the man initially claimed that the bag belonged to him. Police say that the loaded, stolen gun was spotted during the X-ray screening of a bookbag that the man had been carrying, and TMZ reported that it was later proved that the bag actually belonged to Coolio. Both the bodyguard and Coolio were arrested and taken to the LAPD Pacific Division jail.
The initial ownership claims made by the bodyguard had been found to be in contradiction to the statements provided by eyewitnesses, and police also reviewed the security tapes in an effort to uncover the truth. However, once they had interviewed the rapper, the bodyguard was released and no charges were filed against him. The 53-year-old rapper, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was formally charged with possession of a firearm by a felon along with the suspicion of possessing a stolen loaded firearm because the gun involved was determined to have been one that was previously reported stolen.
At the time that security at LAX’s Terminal 3 discovered the loaded and stolen weapon in the rapper’s bag, he himself had already passed through security and boarded his flight. As the Los Angeles Daily News reported, airport security officers removed Coolio from the flight in order to arrest him.
Coolio was not in jail for long, though, and a mere couple of hours after news of his arrest was reported, the rapper took to YouTube to thank his fans for their support and provide them a personal update on the circumstances surrounding him getting arrested. The video was taken at a booth at a P.F. Chang’s where he was dining after he was released on bail, and the “Gangsta’s Paradise” artist also sought to assure his fans that he was doing “fine.”
The rapper had been in the custody of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Station on Saturday before he was released on $37,808 bail.
In the brief address, the rapper seemed confident that the arrest would not negatively affect him that much and called the entire ordeal a “misunderstanding.”
“Just wanted to say something about the little misunderstanding at the airport today. Everything’s fine, I’m fine. I don’t know what’s going to be the result of this in the future but for now, I’m fine and I appreciate everyone’s concern.”
Unfortunately, this is by far not the first time that the hip-hop star has had a run in with the law, and it is not even the first time that it has happened while at the LAX airport. Back in March 2009, Coolio was arrested while going through security at LAX when the TSA allegedly found drugs inside of one of his bags. This is also not the first time that Coolio has faced charges for being a felon in possession of a firearm, but back in February 1999 when the charge was brought against him, he was convicted and was given a sentence of 10 days in jail. He has also done time in Las Vegas, along with his son, after they were both involved in an armed robbery with a female prostitute.
Coolio intends to continue with his scheduled performance tonight at Indio, California’s Empire Polo Club where he, Salt-N-Pepa, and Vanilla Ice are on a bill to appear as part of an “I Love the 90s Tour.”
[Featured Image by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images]