Wyclef Jean Detained and Handcuffed After Being Mistaken for Robbery Suspect
By Antoinette Bueno
Wyclef Jean was handcuffed and detained early Tuesday morning, after Los Angeles sheriffs mistook him for a robbery suspect.
The 47-year-old musician posted video of himself in handcuffs on Instagram, telling officers that he's a recording artist, and for someone to give them the address to the recording studio he was coming home from.
"Y'all see the police have handcuffs on me," he says in the video. "They just took off my Haitian bandanna. That's what's going on right now with Wyclef in L.A. right now. The LAPD have me in cuffs for absolutely nothing."
A Los Angeles Sheriff's Department spokesperson confirmed to ET on Tuesday that Jean was detained in West Hollywood, California, at around 12:40 a.m.
"The victim that was robbed gave a description of a vehicle and a suspect which matched the vehicle that he [Jean] was a passenger in, and the suspect’s description matched his description, that's why he was detained," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the "Gone Till November" singer was detained for approximately 10 minutes before being released.
"When we detained him, the officers were speaking to the handling unit that was still with the victim and were able to ask some clarifying questions, and hear some details to determine based on their investigation in the field that he was not the suspect, so they continued on with the investigation," the spokesperson said.
The Sheriff's Department added that they found the actual suspect vehicle four blocks away "that once again matched [Jean's] vehicle description and the actual suspect which matched [Jean's] description.”
The LAPD tweeted on Tuesday that they were not involved in the incident.
This morning @wyclef erroneously tweeted that he had been detained by the #LAPD. We can confirm that we WERE NOT involved in that incident
Jean tweeted about the incident, and said that he was "treated like a criminal."
"I was asked by the police to put my hands up," be wrote. "Then I was told do not move. I was instantly handcuffed before being asked to identify myself. Nor was I told why I was being cuffed. In the process I said my name and told them they have wrong person."
"They proceeded to ignore me and I was treated like a criminal until other police showed up and pointed out they had wrong person," he continued. "I am sure no father wants his sons or daughters to see him in handcuffs especially if he is innocent. As some one who has law enforcers in my family, I was appalled by this behavior of the LAPD."
In an official statement, the Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs Department apologized for any inconvenience they caused Jean.
"It is unfortunate that Mr. Jean was detained for six minutes during this investigation, as he had no involvement whatsoever in this violent crime," the statement reads. "However, Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs are frequently required to make lawful detentions, under the strict parameters provided by law, in the interest of catching often dangerous and armed suspects in our communities and keeping the public safe. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is apologetic for any inconvenience this process caused Mr. Jean. We are grateful we were able to apprehend the robbery suspects and that no one was seriously injured."