Akon pleads guilty to fan tossing
Singer threw a boy off the stage in JuneFISHKILL, N.Y. -- Hip-hop star Akon pleaded guilty Wednesday to harassment for tossing a fan off stage at an upstate New York concert last year.
He will serve no jail time as long he performs 65 hours of community service and pays a $250 fine, according to the plea bargain in Fishkill Town Court.
The 35-year-old singer threw a teenage boy off the stage during a June 2007 concert at a minor league baseball stadium near Poughkeepsie. Another concertgoer said she suffered a concussion when the teen landed on her.
Witnesses said a spectator threw something at Akon during the show at Dutchess Stadium. After he asked the crowd to point out the culprit, a security guard picked up a 15-year-old boy and sent him up to the stage. Akon hoisted the teen onto his shoulders and flung him into the crowd. The incident was caught on videotape.
After the plea, Akon shook hands with Anthony Smith, the now 16-year-old fan, and apologized to him and his parents.
Akon declined comment as he left, but Andrea Zellan, his lawyer, issued a written statement saying, "We are pleased that the case has been resolved and Akon looks forward to putting this unfortunate incident behind him."
Akon, born Aliaune Thiam, was originally charged with misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a minor and second-degree harassment, a violation.
Dutchess County Assistant District Attorney Anthony Parisi could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday morning.
Before the New York incident, Akon drew criticism when he was videotaped simulating sex onstage with a teenage girl during an April 2007 concert in Trinidad. He later apologized and said he hadn't know the girl was underage.
His third album, "Freedom," was released this month.