WEST HOLLYWOOD—A YouTube star is at odds with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, West Hollywood Station, after he reported being attacked in a hate-related assault. Authorities charged him with one count of vandalism, and one misdemeanor count of filing a false report.
According to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, Calum McSwiggan, 26, is facing one misdemeanor count of false report to a peace officer that a felony was committed in case 6AR31941.
McSwiggan told authorities on Monday, June 27, that he was assaulted by three men while leaving The Abbey during the early morning hours. McSwiggan is a London native and YouTube personality recognized by thousands for his popularity among the LGBT community; he was visiting Southern California to attend the online video convention, VidCon this past weekend, and went out with friends Sunday night to celebrate.
Deputies responded to the scene, which was located at the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, but were unable to substantiate McSwiggan’s allegations as they reported not seeing any visible injuries.
LASD offocials say they saw McSwiggan vandalize a car and arrested him on the scene at approximately 2:30 a.m. Monday near Robertson Boulevard, in the heart of this city’s LGBT nightlife district.
He was booked on one count vandalism with property damage greater than $400 and held on $20,000 bail.
McSwiggan was taken to the LASD West Hollywood Station where he was put in a cell alone; deputies claim they then saw him inflicting injuries on himself using a pay phone inside of the cell and he was transported to the hospital, suffering three broken teeth and six stitches in his forehead.
Sheriff’s officials said in a statement that McSwiggan, “was the observed injuring himself with the handle and receiver to a payphone.”
McSwiggan took to Instagram on Monday, telling followers he was treated like a “second-class citizen” by authorities and that his self-inflicted assault with the pay phone was a last-ditch effort to escape what he deemed an unlawful imprisonment and an attempt to be transported to the hospital.
He wrote on Instagram, “Last night was the worst night of my life and I’m really struggling to find the words to talk about it. After one of the most wonderful weekends at VidCon we went out to a gay club to celebrate, and towards the end of the evening I was separated from my friends and beaten up by three guys. The authorities should have been there to help and protect me but instead they treated me like a second class citizen. With three broken teeth and six stitches in my forehead, I’ve never felt so terrified to be a gay man in the public eye. All I can do is thank my wonderful YouTube friends for being with me the whole way. I’d be lost without them. Right now I don’t feel that I’m in the right place to talk about this but I will be addressing this fully in the future.”
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, June 29, McSwiggan provided further insight into his side of the story, claiming he was punched, lost consciousness, and then kicked; he regained consciousness and realized his teeth were broken.
McSwiggan alleges he reported the attack to authorities and confessed to the vandilaztion, which he explains was an action resultant of the attack, stating in his Facebook post on Wednesday, “In a moment of devastation, anger and blind rage, I kicked the wing mirror of the attacker’s car until it broke and then ripped it off with my hands. He claims the deputy didn’t believe his story due to the lack of visible injuries, adding, “Just because there were no visible marks on my face does not mean I was not attacked.”
“Being accused of being a liar and being called a disgrace to the LGBT+ community, a community I’ve dedicated my life to, is more painful than any hate crime could ever be,” McSwiggan wrote.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges against him in Los Angeles County Superior Court on June 29, and is scheduled to appear in court on July 19; if convicted, he faces a maximum of 364 days in county jail.