Blac Youngsta performs at SOB's on December 1, 2015, in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images)
Photo: Johnny Nunez
Photo: Johnny Nunez

Blac Youngsta’s story of bank incident disputed by bank and police

If you put the right beat to it, the story of how rapper Blac Youngsta, birth name Sam Benson, wound up in the middle of an Atlanta forgery episode might make a decent single.

Last week, the Memphis native took to his social media accounts to relay what he intimated was a case of racial profiling by Atlanta police. Officers were summoned after a man only identified as “a black male”, according to police, tried passing a forged check for $24,000 at the Buckhead branch of Wells Fargo bank at 3235 Peachtree Road NE on Friday afternoon. The person who called police also gave a description of the man’s vehicle. Police arrived, pulled Benson from a car, put him on the curb, brought out handcuffs and questioned him.

And that’s when story gets interesting.

After detaining him and his entourage briefly, police figured out Benson was not the right guy. He and his friends were later allowed to go on their way, said Sgt. Warren Pickard, Atlanta police spokesman.

Benson soon lit up his social media accounts with his side of the story, saying “look how they treat a young rich [slur].” He also gave interviews to WXIA-TV, telling the station, “I come out the bank, I see the police, I’m walking to my car, I see one of them point to my bag like ‘him.’ They come bumrushing me at the car, put me on the ground.”

He added another verse to his story, telling WXIA-TV, that he’d gone into the bank to withdraw $200,000 to pay cash for a new luxury sedan. He also accused the police of taking some of his cash and later giving it back. Pickard said police didn’t take any of his money.

To wrap what seemed to be the end of the tale, Benson tweeted to the bank on Friday: “[expletive] Wells Fargo.”

This is where the bank comes in with the hook.

Benson doesn’t have an account with Wells Fargo, wasn’t even in the bank and didn’t make a withdrawal, said Crystal I. Drake, a vice president and spokeswoman for Wells Fargo.

“Mr. Benson was not a party to the fraudulent incident,” Drake said in a statement. Drake would not say, however, if any members of Benson’s group had accounts with the bank or had made withdrawals, saying she could not discuss customer transactions.

It appears that during the investigation, while Benson was detained, at least one witness inside the bank gave multiple descriptions of the man trying to pass the forged check. There were also varying descriptions of the man’s clothing and of a vehicle possibly associated with him.

In the end, the man who police say actually tried to pass the check was Darnell Edwards Charles. When questioned, Charles refused to answer officers’ questions, according to the police report. Charles, 39, was arrested and charged with first-degree forgery. He was not part of Benson’s entourage.

So why did Blac Youngsta give his account to the TV station? According to Pickard, “They gave him a microphone and he did what he did.”

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.