Scottsdale police drop charges against Jake Paul, let feds handle case
PHOENIX – Local authorities are dropping charges against YouTube star Jake Paul, but that doesn’t mean he’s off the hook for his role in unrest at Scottsdale Fashion Square in May.
The Scottsdale Police Department said Wednesday that misdemeanor charges against Paul and two associates related to the May 30 incident are being dismissed.
However, Paul, Arman Izadi and Andrew Leon remain the subjects of a federal investigation.
“It is in the best interest of the community to dismiss misdemeanor charges without prejudice so that a federal criminal investigation can be completed,” the department said in a press release.
“Scottsdale retains the option to refile charges depending on the outcome of the federal investigation.”
The city’s police department and attorney’s office are working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI on the case, according to the release.
The announcement came the same day FBI agents, including a SWAT team, served a search warrant at Paul’s mansion in Calabasas, California.
The FBI told The Associated Press the agency could not reveal the nature of the investigation or the person the warrant was served on. The affidavit for the warrant was sealed by a judge.
Video from local television news helicopters showed agents gathering several rifles from the sprawling property with a boxing ring and hot tub in the backyard that appears in many of Paul’s recent YouTube videos.
In Scottsdale, police had charged Paul with criminal trespass and unlawful assembly a week after multiple businesses at the upscale mall were damaged.
The unrest occurred after what was billed as protest against police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in custody of Minneapolis.
Scottsdale police said they received hundreds of tips and videos identifying Paul, 23, as a participant.
Paul was present at the shopping and dining center Saturday night after an unlawful assembly had been declared and people were ordered to leave the area, police said.
He also entered and stayed inside the mall after it was closed, police said.
Paul was seen in video posted to social media (viewer discretion is advised) observing while windows at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro were being smashed. He was also seen inside the mall as other looters vandalized the stores.
The mall closed at 5 p.m., and the incident began at 10 p.m.
Paul, who has over 20 million YouTube subscribers, said in video that has since been made private that he and friends went to the mall to attend a protest but instead found people breaking windows and stealing from stores.
He denied taking part in the criminal activity.
As of July 18, Scottsdale police had charged 47 people in connection to the Scottsdale Fashion Square incident.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.