Summary List Placement
Five members of rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine’s security team, including a former NYPD detective, were indicted in New York County District on Monday, according to a press release from Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance.
The district attorney’s office alleges that a 34-year-old man and his girlfriend saw Tekashi 6ix9ine, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, in early August in Harlem. The man attempted to record a video of the rapper on his cell phone before the security team noticed and chased after the couple for “approximately 20 blocks” using three SUVs that with flashing lights and sirens.
Prosecutors allege that the victims tried to get help from a New York City Police Department officer, but retired NYPD detective James Laperuta approached the officers and said that the couple threatened Hernandez and his team with a gun. When the former detective later tried to make a complaint at NYPD’s 28th Precinct, an NYPD lieutenant “confronted Laperuta about the improbability of his account,” leading the detective to withdraw the complaint.
“A celebrity entourage is not a police department, and Manhattan is not the Wild West,” Vance said. “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 the retired detective then “tried to cover up their conduct by lying to his former colleagues” by claiming the man had threatened them with a gun.
False reports – especially about firearms – can carry devastating consequences and fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the actual police response,” Vance said.
Prosecutors further allege that the security team boxed the victims in with three cars before one member destroyed the cell phone, another pointed a taser at the victim, and Laperuta approached the scene with his hand on a holstered gun. The DA’s office said it was not until an unmarked police car arrived that the security detail jumped back into their SUVs and fled the scene.
Laperuta was charged with robbery in the first degree, robbery in the second degree, criminal impersonation in the first degree, and falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.
The other four members of Hernandez’s security team — Sammy Sprouse, Christian Cortez, Egardo Cortez, and Kristian Fuhse — were each charged with robbery in the first degree, robbery in the second degree, and criminal impersonation in the first degree.
Hernandez was arrested in 2018 on drugs, weapons, and racketeering charges but was released early after testifying against fellow gang members in the prosecution and the COVID-19 pandemic. He was released from his house arrest about one week before the incident with his security detail occurred.