David Darnell Brown, better known as Young Buck of the rap group G-Unit, is wanted in connection with a Monday night(Nov. 15th, 2004) stabbing at the Vibe Music Awards ceremony in Santa Monica, CA, police said.
According to the Santa Monica Police Department, Brown was one of three people seen holding knives in the melee that ensued after a man--later identified as Los Angeles resident Jimmy James Johnson, 26--approached rapper Dr. Dre during the event and punched him several times. Dre, who was sitting near the stage, was attacked as composer Quincy Jones and rapper Snoop Dogg were preparing to present him with the Vibe Legend Award, which honors his lifelong contributions to hip-hop.
"Brown is seen with a knife in hand and attempting to reach Johnson," Lt. Frank Fabrega said in a press statement. "At one point, Brown is seen lunging over another male and swinging the knife at Johnson's upper body while Johnson is looking away from him. Brown is clearly depicted as holding the knife after the assault and is one of a number of fight participants who is pepper sprayed by officers attempting to stop the unlawful assaults."
Police and the venue's security team subdued Johnson soon after his alleged attack on Dre, but as they attempted to move him toward the stage, several people tried to jump him. Two uniformed Santa Monica Police Officers "became victims of assaults when unidentified males threw chairs at them," according to Fabrega.
Johnson reportedly suffered a serious stab wound to his upper body during the melee, police said. He was transferred to a nearby hospital and is in stable condition.
Brown (Young Buck), who wasn't identified by police until Tuesday morning, fled the airport hangar that hosted the awards ceremony following the incident. He's been asked to surrender to Santa Monica police. Police are also sorting through video footage to identify other suspects.
The ceremony resumed a short time after the incident, at which time the award was presented to Dre without further incident.
UPN aired the Vibe Music Awards on Tuesday night; the fracas was edited from the tape.
Young Buck and G-Unit are signed to Dre's record label, and G-Unit won the Vibe Music Award for Best Group.
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California authorities are seeking G-Unit rapper Young Buck in connection with the stabbing of a 26-year-old man during a brawl that went down at Monday's Vibe Music Awards.
The Santa Monica Police Department has put out an arrest warrant for the 23-year-old Nashville native, whose real name is David Darnell Brown, after cameras caught him pulling a knife on another man.
That other man was Jimmy James Johnson, a 26-year-old parolee who, moments before, attacked Young Buck's mentor, Dr. Dre.
"At one point, Brown is seen lunging over another male and swinging the knife at Johnson's upper body while Johnson is looking away from him. Brown is clearly depicted as holding the knife after the assault and is one of a number of fight participants who is pepper-sprayed by officers attempting to stop the unlawful assaults," said Lieutenant Frank Frabega in a statement.
In the ensuing chaos, Buck fled the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport where the ceremony was being taped and, as of Wednesday morning, has not been found. Police have urged Buck to surrender, at which point he's expected to be charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon.
The show had been proceeding without incident until about 7:25 p.m., when a man approached Dr. Dre at a front-row table just before the star producer was about to accept a lifetime achievement award from Snoop Dogg and Quincy Jones.
According to police, the assailant--later ID'd as Johnson--faked asking for an autograph before punching Dre several times in the face. No word on why Johnson went after Dre.
Dre's bodyguards immediately tackled Johnson, bringing the show to a screeching halt. Two police officers tried to intervene, but were kept at bay by some unidentified men who threw chairs at the cops.
Snoop and Jones watched helplessly as the disturbance spiraled out of control, people began shoving each other, and many of the 1,000 audience members began scurrying for the exits, including Alicia Keys, who didn't return for her scheduled performance later that night.
While pepper-spray-wielding police reinforcements moved in to quell the fracas, Johnson was stabbed in the chest and suffered a collapsed lung.
He was taken to a nearby hospital where he is listed in stable condition.
His alleged assailant, Young Buck, does have a rap sheet, but mostly for minor infractions committed back in his home state of Tennessee.
The artist is a member of 50 Cent's G-unit posse, which is signed to Dre's Aftermath Records, and was named Best Group by at the Vibe Awards. His debut solo album, Straight Outta Ca$hville, hit the Billboard charts at number three back in August.
Buck is set to perform a series of club gigs starting Thursday night in Des Moines, Iowa. But with an APB out for his arrest, it's doubtful he'll show.
Butts said investigators are waiting to question Johnson about why he went after Dre.
Police have refused to speculate on whether the attack occurred at the behest of rival rap boss Marion "Suge" Knight, who attended the ceremony, but denied having anything to do with the scuffle.
Dre and Knight were partners in Death Row Records in the early '90s before falling out. Dre went on to major success with his own label, Aftermath, which nurtured superstars such as Eminem and 50 Cent. Knight's label struggled while he served a five-year prison sentence on assault and weapons charges.
It took about 15 minutes to restore calm and the award show did go on.
"It is unfortunate that an event so many people worked very hard to create has been tainted by the actions of a few individuals," Kenard Gibbs, president of Vibe, said in a statement.
UPN ended up broadcasting an edited version of the ceremony Tuesday night, editing out all evidence of the fiasco. The only reference to the tumult was a remark from Dre, who didn't look too worse for wear as he accepted his award on stage.
"They can't stop me. I don't care," Dre said.
If anything, the publicity over the smackdown actually increased viewer interest.
UPN's broadcast scored a double-digit improvement in all key demos over last year's inaugural ceremony; according to preliminary Nielsens, 5.4 million tuned in, up 26 percent from last year and helping the network to its best Tuesday since March.