LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Kanye West pleaded not guilty Thursday to a pair of misdemeanor charges stemming from a run-in with a paparazzo at Los Angeles International Airport.
The rapper was charged with one misdemeanor count each of battery and attempted grand theft in connection with the July 19 altercation. West did not attend the brief court session, so his attorney, Blair Berk, entered the plea on his behalf.
A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Jan. 23 at the Airport Branch Courthouse.
The charges were filed in September by the City Attorney’s Office, just a month after the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to file a felony case against West. A county prosecutor noted that the freelance photographer “did not sustain significant injury” and was treated and released the same day.
The run-in happened after the rap star – who is engaged to reality TV star Kim Kardashian, with whom he has a daughter – arrived at the Bradley International Terminal.
West’s attorney says the rapper was only trying to prevent a photographer, Daniel Ramos, from taking his picture.
Ramos has also filed a lawsuit against the rapper.
“When Kanye West attacked me, I was in complete shock,” Ramos said during a news conference with his attorney, Gloria Allred. “All I had done was ask him a question. I was terrified when Kanye started to come at me. I backed up because I felt from the look in his eyes that he was going to attack me.”
Ramos said he had to use crutches after the attack, and more recently a cane.
His lawsuit against the rapper includes allegations of assault, battery and negligence.
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