YouTube star Jake Paul was charged with two misdemeanors on Thursday after being filmed at a mall that was being looted Saturday in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Paul has been charged with criminal trespass and unlawful assembly, both misdemeanors. He was not booked into jail, but has a court date next month, according to KYTX.
Scottsdale police said they charged Paul after receiving hundreds of tips alleging that the controversial 23-year-old YouTuber was participating in looting at the mall after it was closed, according to KTAR.
A Scottsdale Police Department statement said Paul “was present after the protest was declared an unlawful assembly” and “unlawfully entered and remained inside of the mall when it was closed.”
Paul did not deny being at the mall but rejected looting accusations. In a post shared on Twitter and Instagram, he said he had spent the day peacefully protesting the police killing of George Floyd and was at the mall “strictly documenting, not engaging.”
Video footage of Paul and his friends is unclear about what exactly Paul was doing at the mall. Some followers have claimed, according to the Independent, that they saw Paul holding a bottle of vodka from a nearby shop.
Paul didn’t seem too concerned about the charges, tweeting, “gimme my charges and let’s put the focus back on George Floyd and Black Lives Matter.”
Paul’s older brother and fellow social media influencer Logan Paul publicly scolded his brother for being at the mall as it was being looted.
“To be honest, this one is so fucking hard for me because I love the kid,” he said on a YouTube video posted Wednesday. “Why he was inside of a mall that was being looted, I have no idea. I talked to him on the phone, he was at a dinner that was next to the mall. It was very unfortunate but very on-brand for Jake Paul to magically be seen at a looting site.”
However, he also insisted that anyone who said Jake was participating in the looting is “a fucking moron.”
The Paul brothers have become popular social media stars thanks to videos that show them engaging in a variety of stunts that can alternately be described as outrageous and abhorrent.
Jake Paul first came to fame on the Disney Channel show “Bizaardvark,” but was fired in 2017 after neighbors near his Los Angeles area home claimed that his penchant of doing dangerous stunts for internet clicks had turned the neighborhood into a “war zone.”
Older brother Logan came under fire in 2018 after posting a disturbing video in Japan of what appeared to be a man who had killed himself.