Police: Man cited for attack on Flavor Flav at Vegas casino
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man who served prison time in Nevada for involuntary manslaughter is facing a misdemeanor battery charge in an attack involving entertainer Flavor Flav at a Las Vegas casino, authorities said Thursday.
The 58-year-old rapper and reality television star, whose real name is William Jonathan Drayton Jr., was treated at a hospital after the late Tuesday incident at the South Point, according to police and his lawyer, Kristina Wildeveld.
The alleged attacker, Ugandi Howard, 44, of Las Vegas, was given a summons to appear March 6 in Las Vegas Justice Court, police Officer Laura Meltzer said.
Meltzer confirmed that Howard was arrested in Las Vegas in a 1993 slaying case.
He served prison time in Nevada for an involuntary manslaughter conviction in that case and was released in 2005, court and prison records said.
Video aired by website TMZ shows a man punching Drayton amid slot machines on the casino floor.
A message left at a telephone number believed to be associated with Howard was not returned. It was not apparent from records if he has a lawyer.
Howard’s defense attorney in the 1993 slaying case, Steve Wolfson, is now Clark County district attorney. Wolfson said he didn’t recall Howard or details of the case.
Wildeveld characterized the incident as unfortunate and said she doubted her client instigated it. The attorney said Drayton bowls regularly at the casino-hotel on Las Vegas Boulevard several miles (kilometers) south of the Strip.
“Flav is very open and gregarious,” Wildeveld said. “He has never caused ill will to his fans.”
Drayton, whose public persona includes wearing a big clock on a chain around his neck, was inducted with the hip hop group Public Enemy into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. The group began in the New York area in 1986. Drayton now lives in Las Vegas.
He has faced several criminal cases in recent years, including a felony battery case involving the teenage son of Drayton’s longtime girlfriend that was reduced to a misdemeanor and closed in August 2014 with a finding that he completed domestic violence counseling.
Drayton paid fines after pleading guilty in 2016 to separate misdemeanor driving under the influence charges in Las Vegas and nearby Henderson. Both times, he acknowledged having marijuana residue in his system while behind the wheel.
In Nassau County, New York, Drayton was fined a little over $3,600 in 2015 for driving without a license when he was stopped while speeding in January 2014 to his mother’s funeral.