Trump star on Hollywood Walk of Fame destroyed again

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FOX 11 photo.

President Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was destroyed Wednesday morning by a man with a pick ax, the second time in less than two years the star was vandalized.

Officers were called around 3:30 a.m. to the star's location on Hollywood Boulevard near Highland Avenue to investigate a vandalism call, according to Officer Ray Brown with the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations office.

Witnesses said a man carrying a guitar case pulled a pick ax from the case and broke up the star.

After bashing through the plaque, the man called police and advised he had vandalized Donald Trump's star, the Los Angeles Times reported. He called on himself and said, ``See you soon,'' Lt. Karen Leong of the LAPD's Hollywood Division told the newspaper.

Private security in the area attempted to intervene but couldn't stop the man because they don't have police powers, Leong said.

By the time officers arrived at the scene, the man was gone, Leong said. However, about an hour later, officials say he walked up to Beverly Hills police headquarters, identified himself and said he wanted to turn himself in.

LAPD officers picked him up soon afterward and took him into custody. Austin Clay, 24, was booked on suspicion of felony vandalism, LAPD Officer Tony Im said. His home town was not known.

This is the second time Trump's star has been vandalized in less than two years. In October 2016 a man dressed as a construction worker smashed the star with a pickax and sledgehammer. James Otis pleaded no contest to felony vandalism in February 2017 and was sentenced to three years probation, 20 days of community service and agreed to pay $4,400 for the damage.

``The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an institution celebrating the positive contributions of the inductees,'' said Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which administers the Walk of Fame. ``When people are unhappy with one of our honorees, we would hope that they would project their anger in more positive ways than to vandalize a California State landmark. Our democracy is based on respect for the law. People can make a difference by voting and not destroying public property.''

The Hollywood Historic Trust will repair the star but requires several days of seasoning before it is polished. During that time, it will be covered to protect it.