Akon charged in fan-tossing case
EmptyFISHKILL, N.Y. -- Akon is facing criminal charges after a fan said she suffered a concussion when the hip-hop star tossed a teenager off the stage and onto her in the concert crowd.
Akon is scheduled to appear in Fishkill Town Court on Monday morning for arraignment on a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a minor, and second-degree harassment, a violation, according to a news release Thursday from police chief Donald Williams.
Audience members said that a spectator lobbed something at Akon and that the singer asked the crowd to point out the culprit. A security guard picked out a 15-year-old and sent him up to the stage, where Akon hoisted him onto his shoulders and flung him into the crowd.
The boy landed on Abby Rosa, who told the Poughkeepsie Journal she was later found to have a concussion. She said she has hired a lawyer and spoken to Fishkill police.
The singer's Manhattan lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, released a statement a few days after the June 3 concert at Dutchess Stadium, saying there was no basis for criminal charges. A call to his office Thursday evening wasn't immediately returned.
In April, Akon drew criticism for having onstage simulated sex with a 14-year-old girl at a concert in Trinidad. He later apologized, saying he didn't realize the girl was underage. The incident led Verizon to withdraw its sponsorship of Akon's tour with Gwen Stefani, with whom he performs on the hit song "The Sweet Escape."
Akon's latest album, "Konvicted," has sold more than 1 million copies in the U.S. His hits include "Don't Matter," "I Wanna Love You" with Snoop Dogg and "Smack That" with Eminem. He won favorite male soul/R&B artist at the recent American Music Awards.