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NY hip-hop DJ arrested after threat to child on air

Written by: Staff
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NEW YORK, May 13 (Reuters) A New York hip-hop disc jockey was arrested for endangering the welfare of a child, two days after he was fired for racist and sexually threatening comments about a rival's wife and 4-year-old daughter.

Prosecutors and police yesterday said Troi Torain, who goes by the name DJ Star, had surrendered and been arrested by detectives from the Hate Crimes Unit. He was also ordered to surrender his gun license and a handgun.

Torain, 42, was fired by Clear Channel Radio's Power 105.1 station on Wednesday for what Clear Channel said were ''wholly unacceptable'' comments.

The remarks were made in several broadcasts since May 3. Torain used racial slurs about Gia Casey, the part-Asian wife of a disc jockey at another radio station, Raashaun Casey, known as DJ Envy, who works for Hot 97.

He also offered listeners 500 dollars for information on the whereabouts of the couple's child and implied he wanted to sexually abuse and urinate on the child.

Benjamin Brafman, Torain's lawyer, said his client had been charged with aggravated harassment and endangering the welfare of a child, misdemeanors that could potentially incur a maximum sentence of a year in jail if he is convicted.

Brafman said Torain had apologized for the comments but said they were the culmination of a long-running verbal battle that had ''spiralled out of control.'' ''For days prior to the statements attributed to DJ Star, DJs at Hot 97 were threatening him, taunting him and making offensive remarks about members of his family, even going so far as calling his mother a prostitute,'' Brafman told Reuters.

''In a moment of frustration and annoyance he obviously said things that are inappropriate,'' Brafman said, adding that Torain never intended to actually harm anybody.

''It's my expectation that when cooler heads prevail and all of the facts are looked at by the District Attorney's office, a decision will be made to dismiss charges,'' he said.

A spokesman for Hot 97 declined to make any comment on the case or to respond to Brafman's charge that DJs there had made threatening comments to Torain in recent weeks.

Clear Channel Radio said the case was now a matter for New York law enforcement authorities and declined to expand on its statement on Wednesday when it announced Torain had been fired.

''We sincerely apologise to those who may have been offended by his remarks,'' Rob Williams of Clear Channel said in Wednesday's statement. Three other staff members who worked with Torain on the ''Star&Buc Wild Morning Show'' have also been dismissed, Clear Channel said.

REUTERS PG PM

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