It's now a recurring form of protest in the Trump era: Donald Trump's Hollywood star has been destroyed again. A vandal bashed in the spot with a pickaxe on Wednesday, leaving a pile of rubble in his wake before he turned himself over to the cops.
According to the police, the suspect hid the pickaxe in a guitar case and left it lying on the Hollywood Walk of Fame when he exited the scene. His identity has not yet been disclosed, but the Los Angeles Police Department stated that he handed himself over in Beverly Hills.
"I'd just seen a guy going to town on, I guess, the ground," witness Patricia Cox told Global News. "I didn't know what was going on. So, I turned — and here we are, with police everywhere." According to CNN, she also said that the man acted "like it was his business just to be tearing up the ground, so she "thought it was work going on over here."
Global News captured footage of workers sweeping up the crumbled remains of the terrazzo and brass icon. According to KCAL/KCBS, the star was further tampered with later in the morning: Graffiti was added and it was "covered with a chin-up bar."
Trump received the honor in 2007 for his work on The Apprentice. The recipients of stars on the Walk of Fame are chosen by a committee — celebrities must apply and then pay $30,000 if they're selected. Around 20 or 30 new names are added to the path every year.
Wednesday marked the second time that Trump's star has been wrecked. The first incident occurred shortly after the release of the Access Hollywood tape in October of 2016. A vandal similarly took a pickaxe to the star then, though he said that he hadn't intended to destroy it. Apparently he'd meant to remove it, sell it, and donate the money to women who had accused Trump of sexual assault.
Prior to that — just after Trump was officially declared to be the Republican nominee for president in 2016 — L.A. street artist Plastic Jesus vandalized the star in a less violent way. He erected a mini wall around it that was meant to evoke Trump's promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The structure was made of concrete, six inches tall, and covered in "Keep Out" signs, barbed wire, and American flags.
The list of incidents goes far beyond that; apparently the star is a frequent recipient of hatred toward Trump. Street performer Francisco Javier told CNN in April of 2016 that people paint over it, make vulgar gestures at it, and that someone even let a dog pee on it once.
"People often stomp with anger on the star, others kick their heels over the star, and some spit," he said. "The last time, someone put a sticker over the star." During the 2017 Resist March for L.A. Pride, activists covered it with stickers reading "#IResist Transphobia" and "#IResist Extremist."
NBC reports that it isn't yet clear when repairs on Trump's star will begin. The last time it was destroyed by a pickaxe, the CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce told ABC that the fix would involve "quite a bit of work" and last "several days."