Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was in pieces Wednesday morning after it was destroyed overnight by a man with an ax and sledgehammer.
The Republican presidential candidate and former "Apprentice" host received the star in January 2007 for his role on the NBC show. The star in the 6800 block of Hollywood Boulevard, a prominent location on the Walk of Fame not far from the Hollywood and Highland Center, was broken into pieces overnight by the vandal, according to a boulevard street performer.
Deadline Hollywood posted video of what appeared to be a man dressed as a construction worker in work boots, a high visibility safety vest and helmet smashing the star. The man took a few swings at the star with the sledgehammer, then went to work on it with a pick ax -- chipping away pieces, letters of Trump's name and the TV plaque embedded in the sidewalk star.
The video, shot by a Deadline Hollywood employee, shows several LA Department of Transportation signs and bright orange construction cones around the star.
Los Angeles police confirmed they are investigating the vandalism report, received at about 6 a.m. No arrests were reported Wednesday morning.
James Otis told Deadline Hollywood Wednesday morning that he is responsible for the damage. Otis later spoke with NBC4 and called the vandalism an act of civil disobedience. He said his intent was to remove the star and sell it to raise money for 11 women accusing the presidential candidate of groping them.
Aerial video later Wednesday morning showed people taking photos of the damaged star, which was roped off by repair crews. A pick axe and sledgehammer were recovered at the scene, according to the LAPD.
One of the boulevard's street performers, a man painted gold and dressed head-to-toe in shiny gold clothes, described a bizarre early morning scene at the popular tourist spot. The man said the he saw a man dressed as a construction worker hammering the star with the sledgehammer.
"He was banging on the star," Gregory Howie said. "He took Donald Trump's name out and he took his round plaque out."
Gregory said the man told him he intended to remove the star and sell it, then donate the money to organizations that support sexually abused women.
Trump has faced accusations from 11 women of sexual misconduct in recent weeks as the presidential campaign enters its final stages. He has denied the accusations.
The Walk of Fame is administered by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which said in a statement that the star will be repaired immediately. The repairs will take several days, and the star will be covered to protect it during that time.
U.S. & World
News from around the country and around the globe
"The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an institution celebrating the positive contributions of the inductees," said Leron Gubler, President-CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. "When people are unhappy with one of our honorees, we would hope that they would project their anger in more positive ways than to vandalize a California state landmark. Our democracy is based on respect for the law. People can make a difference by voting and not destroying public property."
The Hollywood star belonging to the New York business magnate and reality show personality has become a target during the presidential campaign, ever since Trump announced his candidacy last year. It has been defaced with spray paint and surrounded by a miniature wall in protest of Trump's plan to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Walk of Fame star recipients are selected by a committee that considers hundreds of applications each year. The stars ane purchased for a $30,000, rather than gifted.