Friday, May 12, 2006

Hip-Hop Radio D.J. Arrested for On-Air Threats


NEW YORK - A syndicated disc jockey with one of the city's leading hip-hop radio stations was arrested this afternoon for making on-air threats to track down and sexually abuse the 4-year-old daughter of a rival, the police said.

Troi Torain, known as D.J. Star, was arrested for threatening to sexually abuse the 4-year-old daughter of a rival, police said.

Troi Torain, the disc jockey known by the name D.J. Star, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, the Manhattan district attorney's office said. Law enforcement officials had launched an investigation into his remarks on Thursday after reviewing a transcript of his recent rants about D.J. Envy and his family.

The police called Mr. Torain to police headquarters in Lower Manhattan this afternoon and ordered him to surrender his target pistol license and his weapon, a .9-millimeter handgun, they said. When he arrived, he was arrested by detectives from the police department's Hate Crimes Unit, they said.

Mr. Torain's arrest comes after days of complaints from many quarters about his May 3 on-air tirade against D.J. Envy, a rival who works for WQHT-FM, known as Hot 97.

Mr. Torain's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said today that what his client said about his rival and his family was "inappropriate, it was offensive." But, he went on, "it was not criminal."

He said Mr. Torain had apologized for his remarks, which were part of an ongoing exchange between two competitor D.J.'s.

"This starts out as warring, competing radio stations and inappropriate comments being made on both sides of this dispute and at the end of the day it spirals out of control and it ends up with an arrest," he said.

"This did not start with Star," Mr. Brafman said. "At the end of the day, I think the charges will be dismissed."

On Wednesday night Mr. Torain was dismissed by WWPR-FM, known as Power 105, one of the top-rated stations in the city. The station, owned by Clear Channel Communications of San Antonio, also apologized to anyone offended by the comments.

The next day, City Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr., of Queens, a former prosecutor and the head of he Public Safety Committee, sent a letter with a transcript of D.J. Star's remarks directly to Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. Another City Council member also sent a letter alleging that what the disc jockey said amounted to a hate crime, the police said.

At a news conference earlier that day, City Council members, who said they had been contacted by the wife of the rival, D.J. Envy, played an excerpt from a May 3 broadcast in which Mr. Torain mentioned D.J. Envy's wife and two children and threatened to track down and sexually abuse his daughter, who is 4. .

"I will come for your kids," Mr. Torain, 42, said in the excerpt, adding that he would pay $500 to anyone who told him where the girl attended school.

On Thursday, council members held a second news conference and insisted that they would not be satisfied unless Mr. Torain was prosecuted. The lawmakers have also called for a Federal Communications Commission investigation.

Today, Mr. Vallone, the father of two girls, ages 10 and 12, said he was pleased by news of the arrest.

"We needed this arrest to send a clear signal that society won't put up with this despicable type of behavior," he said.

He said many members of the council were "more than disgusted" by Mr. Torain's remarks.

Sewell Chan and Lola Ogunnaike also contributed reporting for this article.

No comments:

Post a Comment