Louis Tomlinson was arrested late Friday night after an altercation with a paparazzo turned physical, and the One Direction singer is now facing charges of misdemeanour battery.
As People reports, Tomlinson, 25, and girlfriend Eleanor Calder flew into LAX when the couple were accosted by paparazzi while waiting for luggage at the baggage claim area.
According to the LAPD, Tomlinson was “surrounded by paparazzi,” and when “one of the paparazzi fell and he claimed he hurt himself,” Tomlinson was placed under citizen arrest by the photographer and a witness.
Booking information obtained by People indicates the incident took place at approximately 11:45 p.m. Friday night, with Tomlinson arrested on misdemeanour battery charges and booked at a nearby police station at 12:38 a.m. He was released about an hour later, at 1:32 a.m., and is due to appear in court on Mar. 29.
A report from TMZ offers more detail on what took place: “We’re told the 25-year-old singer was with his girlfriend and the photog was too close for Louis’ comfort, so he allegedly pulled the photog to the floor by his legs,” claims TMZ. “The photog fell backwards and struck his back and head on the floor.”
Then, adds TMZ, “a female witness” began recording video of Calder on her phone, which led to a “physical altercation” between Calder and the other woman.
However, Tomlinson’s lawyer, Martin Singer, places the blame squarely on the photographer. “The paparazzi provoked and caused an altercation that occurred with Louis at the airport this morning,” Singer tells People in a statement. “This is not the first or last time that a paparazzi has created an altercation with a celebrity. While the altercation was going on with the paparazzi, three other individuals were attacking his girlfriend during the incident and he came to her defence.”
Following the release of Singer’s statement, Radaronline published this video of what happened at LAX, showing a clearly agitated Tomlinson grappling with the photographer in an apparent attempt to wrest the camera from his hands. Tomlinson then tries to get away from the paparazzo, shadowing him so closely he apparently bumps him and causes the 1D singer to drop his phone.
At that point, Tomlinson appears to bend down to pick up his phone, and sends the shutterbug tumbling over on his back. Watch: