Prosecutors have dropped a charge of simple assault against Atlanta rapper T.I., but are moving forward with charges of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct stemming from his May arrest.
T.I., whose legal name is Clifford Harris Jr., is accused of the misdemeanor charges in Henry County court. The rapper was arrested May 16 after returning to his gated Eagle’s Landing community without his keys.
He asked the security guard, Euwan James, to let him in, and the guard initially refused. James eventually complied, and T.I went home. He returned to get the name of the guard’s supervisor, and things got heated, according to a Henry County police report.
T.I. is accused of being intoxicated when he confronted James and using “vulgar, profane, loud and unbecoming language.” Three counts of disorderly conduct are related to the rapper’s profane language, asking James to leave his guard shack to confront him and for goading him to a fight, prosecutors charged.
He allegedly told James, “Nobody will get you out of this” and “you have to look me in the eyes as a man,” according to charging documents.
T.I.’s defense attorney, Steve Sadow, takes issue with the third count of disorderly conduct. In a motion to dismiss, he claims T.I.’s words to the guard constitute expressive conduct, not an actual threat of a fight, court records show.
A judge has not determined whether to dismiss that charge.
The simple assault charge that was dropped alleged that the verbal threats put the guard in reasonable fear of being injured. The charge was dropped when the rapper’s accusation was amended Oct. 16.
When T.I. was formally charged in September, Sadow told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the accusations were “baseless, ill-founded and unjustified.” He pointed to the fact that the guard was eventually fired by his security company for what Sadow said was “the way he handled the situation with T.I.”
Sadow was reached Tuesday by AJC.com but did not want to comment on the case.
A jury trial is set to begin Feb. 4.
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