The man accusing rapper A$AP Rocky of assault testified on Tuesday that he feared for his life during the street fight on June 30 that landed the rapper in jail.
Mustafa Jafari, the 19-year-old alleged assault victim who claimed he was unaware of Rocky's fame, said he was in Stockholm looking for a friend when he encountered the rapper and his entourage outside of a restaurant. After he asked the group if they’d seen his friend, Rocky’s bodyguard responded by telling him to go away and then pushing him, he alleged.
“If someone says in a nice way, ‘Go away from here,’ then you do,” he said on the stand, according to The New York Times. “But he just pushed me. What he did was wrong.”
Jafari claimed that things got more violent from there, with the bodyguard — who was not arrested, and who was referred to only as Tee in court documents — grabbing him around the neck and forcibly picking him up off of the ground, leading him away and breaking Jafari’s headphones in the process. Jafari said that he then threw the headphones at the bodyguard and was following the group, attempting to talk about his broken headphones, when he was hit in the back of the head with a bottle unexpectedly. Once he was on the ground, four men, including Rocky, proceeded to punch and kick him, he claimed.
“I felt they were going to beat me to death,” he said of the fight, which he alleged consisted of him getting hit at least 20 times.
Jafari says that the fight left him with various injuries, including broken ribs. His lawyer, Magnus Stromberg, said that his client is seeking about $14,600 in damages, according to CNN.
A$AP Rocky, who is not scheduled to testify until Thursday, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday, The Times reports. Two of his companions who were arrested alongside him — Bladimir Emilio Corniel and David Tyrone Rispers — have also entered not guilty pleas.
Rocky, who has been in custody since July 3, faces up to two years in prison if convicted, according to CNN.
The 30-year-old rapper, born Rakim Mayers, has maintained his innocence, and reportedly told police that he feared Jafari, who was allegedly harassing and following him, planned to attack him.
Rocky's lawyer, Slobodan Jovicic, again claimed Tuesday that his client acted in self-defense, according to CNN.
“Please bear in mind that A$AP Rocky is an international, very well-known artist,” Jovicic said before adding that the men who approached Rocky that day were “deeply provoking.”
Footage of the June 30 brawl was shown in court on Tuesday, but none of the clips showed a bottle being used in the alleged assault, according to The Times.
However, photos of the scene showed a broken glass bottle on the street, as well as a shard of glass in Rocky’s sweater, CNN reports. Jovicic theorized that the bottle was broken out of sight of Rocky, who could have unwittingly gotten glass shards underneath his shoe, injuring Jafari. The alleged victim claims he was “stabbed” with broken glass during the fight.
Swedish public prosecutor Daniel Suneson has confirmed that authorities did not find any DNA on the bottle, according to CNN.
Jafari said that he did not see who allegedly hit him with the bottle, according to The Times.
Rocky’s arrest and ongoing legal battle has attracted international attention, as well as criticism from celebrities, including reality TV star Kim Kardashian and President Donald Trump. After unsuccessfully reaching out to Swedish officials to secure Rocky’s release, the president sent Robert C. O’Brien, special envoy for hostage affairs, to attend the rapper's trial, according to The Times.
“The president asked me to come here and support these American citizens,” O’Brien said. “I’ll be here until they come home.”
Family members of the accused, including A$AP Rocky’s mother, Renee Black, were also in attendance on Tuesday, according to CNN. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Black reportedly said, “This is a nightmare!”
The trial is expected to conclude on Friday, at which point four judges will convene to decide on a ruling, The Times reports.
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