Tekashi 6ix9ine’s private security team, which includes former NYPD detective, Daniel Laperuta, was charged with robbery after allegedly chasing down a motorist when he took unsolicited video of the musician while in New York City. Five members of Tekashi 6ix9ine’s entourage were indicted on Monday, according to Manhattan prosecutors.
Among those indicted was 44-year-old Daniel Laperuta, a former NYPD detective. Laperuta is charged with robbery, criminal impersonation, and falsely reporting an incident for the August chase, which saw the five Tekashi groupies chasing after a motorist and his girlfriend, who allegedly took a video of the rapper.
After the suspected videographer was spotted, Tekashi 6ix9ine’s team jumped in their SUVs and followed the 34-year-old victim for nearly 20 blocks in an attempt to retrieve the unwanted cellphone footage. To get through traffic and to trick the victim, Daniel Laperuta used fake emergency lights and police sirens to apprehend the target.
During the chase, Laperuta reportedly engaged with an officer, explaining that the victim – who was on the run – had threatened the entourage with a gun. Prosecutors also alleged that Daniel Laperuta and the four other men chased the man to retrieve the phone, which is considered an attempted robbery. Sammy Sprouse, Christian Cortez, Edgardo Cortez, and Krsitian Fuhse are among those charged.
The team has been charged with first- and second-degree robbery and criminal impersonation. Daniel Laperuta and the gang cornered the victim when they finally caught up to him at 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. When they reached his vehicle, Sprouse pulled him out of the car and Fuhse stepped on the man’s phone, according to prosecutors.
Other members of Tekashi 6ix9ine’s security team allegedly pointed a taser at the man while the confrontation occurred. The five suspects fled before cops arrived on the scene.
“A celebrity entourage is not a police department, and Manhattan is not the Wild West,” Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. explained in a statement. “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. Along the way, a retired NYPD detective tried to cover up their conduct by lying to his former colleagues.”
Laperuta was arraigned in Manhattan Supreme Court for the August 2020 incident. The former NYPD detective pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $25,000 cash or $75,000 bond. He was also charged for “falsely claiming to NYPD officers and in a 911 call that the victim was threatening the defendants with a firearm,” says the prosecutor’s office.
Reports claim Laperuta walked into the 28th Precinct to make a formal complaint about the victim – whom the security detail chased – claiming he threatened the use of a firearm. During the complaint, a lieutenant questioned Daniel Laperuta’s account, and the retired detective withdrew his statement and left the precinct.
Laperuta is the only member of the five-man group to be arraigned. The other four in Tekashi 6ix9ine’s crew are awaiting arraignment. Tekashi, or Daniel Hernandez, had been a camera-shy rapper ever since he snitched on fellow gang members in a plea deal last year. Hernandez was due to be sentenced on January 24, 2020, and was facing a possible 47 years in prison.
Before the sentencing occurred, Daniel Hernandez was given the opportunity to avoid jail time in exchange for his testimony against his fellow gang members. The rapper avoided the 47 years and was only sentenced to two years in prison. Hernandez was released from prison in April, after arguing that he was at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 due to his pre-existing asthma condition – he would be forced to spend the rest of his sentence at home.
Multiple videos show the rapper’s team confronting bystanders and videographers, who stare or record the musician while out in public. It isn’t clear whether Tekashi 6ix9ine has expanded his security detail.