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Police arrest New York DJ after radio rants

DJ Star forced to turn over handgun, practice permit at police station
/ Source: The Associated Press

A syndicated hip-hop disc jockey was arrested Friday on charges of harassment and endangering the welfare of a child amid an uproar over his on-air racial and sexual rants about a radio rival’s wife and 4-year-old daughter.

Police officials had launched a hate crime investigation of DJ Star on Thursday after reviewing a transcript of his recent remarks about DJ Envy and his family.

DJ Star, whose real name is Troi Torain, was contacted by police on Friday and ordered to surrender a 9mm handgun and target-practice permit at Police Headquarters. When he arrived, he was arrested and taken to the 1st Precinct stationhouse in lower Manhattan, said police spokesman Paul Browne.

The arrest capped a bad week for Torain.

After City Councilman John C. Liu and other outraged elected officials called a press conference to publicly scold Torain, he was fired on Wednesday from his job at Clear Channel Radio’s Power 105.1 FM. Clear Channel, a unit of Clear Channel Communications Inc., said it found his statements “wholly unacceptable.”

Not satisfied, the politicians demanded a criminal investigation — and immediately got one.

“This is a real consequence for Torain and sends a real message to other would-be racist pedophile radio stooges that they are not immune from the law,” Liu said in a statement.

Torain’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said his client’s conduct, while offensive, was not criminal. The DJ got caught up in a heated ratings war with DJ Envy and his station, Hot 97, and only lashed out after his rival taunted him with crude remarks of his own, he said.

“In a moment of frustration, he said something that was inappropriate,” the lawyer said. “He regrets it and apologizes for it. ... He never intended to commit a crime, and he certainly never intended to frighten the family.”

A spokeswoman for Hot 97 had no immediate comment.

In the comments, made between May 3 and Monday, Torain — co-host of the “Star & Buc Wild Morning Show” — offered $500 to any listener who could provide information about the rival DJ’s daughter’s school and used racial slurs when talking about his rival’s wife, Gia Casey, who is part Asian.

“I will come for your kids,” Torain said, according to transcribed excerpts provided by Liu’s office. “I finally got the information on his slant-eyed, whore wife.”

Torain also called the couple’s child a “little half a lo mein eater” and said he wanted to “do an R. Kelly on your seed, on your little baby girl. I would like to tinkle on her,” according to the excerpts.

The comments apparently alluded to videotapes in 2002 showing a man bearing a strong resemblance to singer R. Kelly having sex with someone who appeared to be an underage girl and then urinating on her.

Casey’s attorney, Ken Thompson, applauded Torain’s arrest, claiming “what he did was a hate crime.” He also said his client would “pursue all legal channels” to hold Clear Channel Radio accountable as well.

In a statement, the company sought to distance itself from the DJ, saying that because he was fired, “This is now a case for the New York law enforcement authorities.”

Torain and his half brother, Timothy Joseph, or Buc Wild, hosted Hot 97’s morning drive time show beginning in 2000 and joined Clear Channel Radio in March 2004. They began working at Power 105 in January 2005.

Their show aired in markets including Philadelphia, Miami and Richmond, Va.