Rappers may not be the most kid-friendly artists in the music world, but one member of G-Unit is denying accusations that he picked on someone half his age. Emcee Tony Yayo pleaded not guilty Sunday to misdemeanor charges of harassment and endangering the welfare of a child, just one day after his arrest in New York for allegedly beating up a 14-year-old boy. While the New York Police Department has not released the boy’s identityâ€”as is typical protocol for incidents involving minorsâ€”the alleged teenage victim is believed to be James Rosemond, the son of G-Unit rival the Game’s manager, Jimmy “Henchman” Rosemond.
Game, who made a name for himself as 50 Cent’s G-Unit protÃ©gÃ©, parted ways with the group in 2005 under highly acrimonious circumstances. A series of incidents, which began as verbal attacks and quickly escalated into shots being fired at his radio station appearances, followed his departure. As it is, the boy’s identity was leaked by none other than his own mother, Cynthia Reed, who released a statement claiming that the incident was sparked when Yayo saw her sonâ€”wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with Rosemond’s Czar Entertainment logoâ€”across the street from Violator Management, the New York home of Fiddy and his G-Unit crew.
Reed claimed that on Mar. 20, the 28-year-old rapper attacked her son, repeatedly pushing and slapping him and causing injury to his ear and face, while members of G-Unit, including 50 Cent, looked on. Yayo’s attorney, Scott Leemon, refuted the charges.
“We adamantly deny the allegations as they were set forth by the district attorney’s office,” Leemon said, though opting not to elaborate on his version of events.
Yayo, whose real name is Marvin Bernard, was arraigned on the charges Sunday and released on $5,000 bail. But he’s not the only member of G-Unit denying involvement. 50 Cent, who Reed claims was encouraging Yayo’s alleged beating, has also issued a statement not only denying that he was present at the time of the reported attack but claiming he was not even in the state when it took place.
“We are conducting our own investigation to determine exactly what happened,” Fiddy’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said. “One thing I can say with absolute certainty, however, is that at the time of the alleged incident, 50 Cent was not in New York State.”
Brafman has even claimed that he will file a defamation lawsuit against Reed should she not retract her statement and issue a formal apology. Yayo has issued no such ultimatum, but nonetheless seems to be getting used to having an often justified finger pointed at him. He spent a year in jail in 2003 on weapons possession charges; two days after being released, he was busted again for carrying a forged passport. He was jailed for six months. Yayo was also present for, and refused to speak about, the shooting murder of Israel Ramirez on the Brooklyn set of a Busta Rhymes music video last February.
Oh, what the hell ever! I still believe they did it … this story isn’t entirely unbelievable.