HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has been destroyed again, this time by a man with a pickax, who turned himself into police about an hour later.
Police say the destruction was reported at about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, and the call was believed to have been made by the man who took a pickax to the star. All that was left of the star was a jagged hole in the ground, and pieces of concrete and the star were left strewn about the sidewalk by the time police arrived.
Even in the pre-dawn hours, there were a number of witnesses to the destruction, including two security guards and a Walgreens worker who was on her way to work.
“I just seen a guy going to town on, I guess, the ground or whatever,” Patricia Cox said. “I didn’t know what was going on.
A guitar case was collected as evidence. It’s believed to be what held the pickax until the suspect took it out to destroy the star.
And as if the destruction wasn’t complete, graffiti was added to the destroyed star then covered with a chin-up bar just a few hours later. Curious pedestrians stopped to take pictures and video of the star’s remains, and some collected pieces of it as souvenirs.
A man turned himself in at the Beverly Hills Police Department at about 4:30 a.m. in connection with the destroyed star. He was later identified as Austin Clay and has been booked on suspicion of felony vandalism.
Passersby seem to be fatigued with the ire being directed at the star.
“Whether you like the man or not is completely inconsequential. You don’t do that to the Walk of Fame,” one man said.
It was a sentiment echoed by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which administers the Walk of Fame.
“When people are unhappy with one of our honorees, we would hope that they would project their anger in more positive ways than to vandalize a California State landmark,” the chamber said in a statement.
One man decided to stand guard over the star, holding a Trump 2020 sign.
“This is the second time. Something has to be done,” Gregg Donovan said.
Trump’s star had to be replaced after being vandalized in October 2016 by a man dressed as a construction worker. James Otis used a pickax and a sledgehammer then, and later pleaded no contest to felony vandalism.
On Wednesday afternoon, Otis told KCAL9’s Dave Lopez he was trying to raise bail money for Clay.
Since Trump announced his candidacy and his subsequent election, the star has been a magnet for visitors unhappy with the current political climate. It has been defaced by tourists and dogs, had a model of a border wall built around it, and covered with “I resist” stickers.
On July 11 this year, comedian George Lopez — using a small water bottle — pretended to urinate on Trump’s star.
The president received the star in 2007, while he was a producer and host of “The Apprentice.”