YouTube hotshot Jake Paul has been charged with trespassing after allegedly entering a mall in Arizona after it was looted in May, police announced on Thursday.
The Scottsdale Police Department said in a statement that it had "received hundreds of tips and videos identifying" Paul as "a participant" in a riot.
"Our investigation has revealed that Paul was present after the protest was declared an unlawful assembly and the rioters were ordered to leave the area by the police," the statement read.
"Paul also unlawfully entered and remained inside of the mall when it was closed".
We've received 100s of tips in response to the events at @ScottsdaleFS. In our continued investigation it was confirmed that Jake Paul was in attendance & remained inside after an unlawful assembly was declared & has been charged with Criminal Trespass & Unlawful Assembly. pic.twitter.com/ySPmZT7ADv— ScottsdalePD (@ScottsdalePD) June 4, 2020
Paul has been charged with criminal trespass and unlawful assembly, both of which are misdemeanor offences.
Sgt. Ben Hoster, public information officer, said while speaking to NBC news that Paul was summoned to appear in an Arizona court in July.
Following the announcement of the charges, Paul tweeted waving off the charges and in support of George Floyd, an African American man who died at the hands of Police in Minneapolis last month.
gimme my charges and let’s put the focus back on George Floyd and Black Lives Matter https://t.co/nwBZmsxFFz— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) June 4, 2020
The 23-year-old was caught on camera seemingly participating in the looting of the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall on 30 May, aligning with the Police Department press release.
YouTube star Jake Paul and his friends were caught “looting” and trashing property in a Scottsdale mall last night amid protests pic.twitter.com/KyrE87TvA9— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) May 31, 2020
Paul can be seen observing rioters break into the mall. The online figure later appears in footage apparently showing him inside the mall and video-recording himself. It is not known if Paul took anything from the trashed mall.
He denied the charges following the release of the video, claiming that neither he or anyone in his group participated in looting.