What to Know
- Five members of rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine's security team were named in an indictment stemming from an August 2020 robbery incident
- Manhattan DA Cy Vance alleges the rapper's team chased a man through Harlem in an attempt to steal a phone used to take video of Tekashi
- His security team included a retired NYPD detective who allegedly lied to police by claiming the victim threatened to use a firearm
Members of rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine’s security team were indicted Monday on charges stemming from an August 2020 robbery incident in Harlem, law enforcement sources tell News 4 New York.
The rapper's private security team is accused of robbing a man after chasing him through Harlem in SUVs with flashing lights and sirens, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office detailed Monday.
Five members of the rapper's security team face first and second-degree robbery, false impersonation and other charges . One of the individuals, a retired NYPD detective, was also charged for "falsely claiming to NYPD officers and in a 911 call that the victim was threatening the defendants with a firearm," according to the prosecutor's office.
Get Tri-state area news and weather forecasts to your inbox. Sign up for NBC New York newsletters.
Back in 2020, Tekashi's security team allegedly witnessed a 34-year-old man attempting to record cellphone video of the rapper on August 9. The rapper's security team shouted at the man and proceeded to chase him for nearly 20 blocks in SUVs equipped with flashing lights and sirens, District Attorney Cy Vance said.
During the pursuit, prosecutors say the driver fleeing the security team tried to flag down a marked police vehicle in the area but was impeded by the retired NYPD detective, Daniel Laperuta. The former detective is accused of flashing his service card to the officers and claiming the 34-year-old had threatened to use a firearm.
Tekashi's team eventually caught up to and boxed in the man's car at 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, the indictment claims. A member of the rapper's detail opened the man's car door and knocked his phone to the ground and stomped on it, the district attorney alleges. Other security personnel allegedly pointed a Taser at the man as Laperuta approached with his hand on his holstered gun, before unmarked police vehicles arrived and the security team fled.
“As alleged, these highly-compensated vigilantes caravanned through the streets of Harlem with sirens flashing in order to track a man down and steal and break his phone," Vance said in a statement Monday.
Later, Lapuerta would allegedly walk into the 28th Precinct to make a complaint that the victim threatened the use of a firearm but a lieutenant questioned the retired detective's account. Vance says Lapuerta withdrew his complaint and left the precinct.
“A celebrity entourage is not a police department, and Manhattan is not the Wild West,” District Attorney Cy Vance said.
Laperuta pleaded not guilty Monday and was expected to post bail Monday afternoon. His lawyer, Todd Cushner, said he was reviewing the charges against the former detective.
“For the most part, they’re unfounded," Cushner said.
Other members of the security team were expected to be arraigned later Monday. The four other security personnel that made of Tekashi's team in the indictment are Egardo Cortez, Christian Cortez, Sammy Sprouse and Kristian Fuhse. Lapuerta is from Central Valley and Egardo and Christian are both from Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Online court records didn't list lawyers for the other members of Tekashi 6ix9ine’s security team who were charged. Messages seeking comment were left with lawyers who've represented the rapper in the past.
Tekashi 6ix9ine, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, was not charged.