Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland
CLEVELAND, Ohio — YouTube star and Cleveland native Jake Paul has been charged in Arizona for his alleged participation in the rioting and looting of a Scottsdale mall last weekend.
Tipsters spotted the social media influencer, whose YouTube channel boasts 20.1 million subscribers, at the May 30 disturbance at Scottsdale Fashion Square and told police, according to KNXV-TV in Phoenix. He now faces two misdemeanor charges of criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly.
In a YouTube video, Paul said he witnessed “hundreds” of people with bags “stealing everything” inside of the mall, which had already closed. But the Westlake High School alum denied taking part in any looting or vandalism, saying he was there to document what he saw after winding up at the mall following a George Floyd-inspired protest.
“In hindsight, everything is 20/20 and we shouldn’t have been anywhere near what was going on. We should’ve removed ourselves from the situation,” he said. “But in the heat of the moment, I wanted to document what was going on and witness it for myself.”
“I don’t think looting, vandalizing and breaking people’s property is the way to go about this,” he added. “Right now, it’s time to evolve and make change as a unit.”
Paul was issued a summons to appear in court next month, The Verge reported.
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