VIDEO: Wyclef Jean briefly detained by deputies searching for robbery suspects in WeHo

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After being briefly detained by sheriff's deputies who were searching for robbery suspects in West Hollywood, rapper Wyclef Jean took to social media to decry the "case of mistaken identity" on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)

Rapper Wyclef Jean was briefly detained by sheriff's deputies in West Hollywood who were searching for two robbery suspects early Tuesday morning, authorities said.

Jean, a former member of the hip-hop trio The Fugees, took to social media after he was pulled over at about 1:30 a.m.

"LAPD another case of mistaken identity," the rapper, who had recently left a studio where he was recording a new album, wrote on Twitter. "Black man with red bandana robbed a gas station as I was in the studio working but im in handcuffs?"

A Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson said the agency was not involved in the traffic stop or the investigation.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, a robbery was initially reported at a gas station at Sunset and San Vicente boulevards at 1 a.m. Witnesses said two suspects, one wearing a red bandana, fled the scene in a gold or tan-colored Toyota.

About 30 minutes later, authorities said Jean was wearing a red bandana while driving a vehicle that matched the suspects' vehicle. Deputies stopped the musician's car, which had two female passengers, including Jean's manager.

"They just took off my Haitian bandana," Jean says in a Twitter video recorded during the traffic stop. "That's what's going on right now with Wyclef in L.A."

Jean cooperated with the deputies, who determined he was not a suspect and released him within six minutes, the sheriff's department said.

Authorities later determined the gas station had not been robbed, but that two pedestrians were pistol-whipped and robbed by suspects near the location.

At 1:45 a.m. at Kings Road and Santa Monica, two male suspects were subsequently arrested in connection with the crime, a sheriff's spokesperson said. A handgun and the victims' belongings were recovered.

In a series of tweets, Jean described his encounter with deputies.

"I was asked by the police to Put my hands up. Then I was told not to move. I was instantly hand cuffed before being asked to identify myself," the hip-hop artist wrote. "Nor was I told why I was being cuffed. In the process I said my name and told them they have the wrong person."


Hours after the incident, the sheriff's department released a statement that read:

"It is unfortunate that Mr. Jean was detained for six minutes during this investigation, as he had no involvement whatsoever in this violent crime. However, Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs are frequently required to make lawful detentions, under the strict parameters provided by law, in the interest of catching often dangerous and armed suspects in our communities and keeping the public safe. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is apologetic for any inconvenience this process caused Mr. Jean. We are grateful we were able to apprehend the robbery suspects and that no one was seriously injured."

Related Topics:
newsrappertwittersocial medialos angeles county sheriff's departmentrobberyassaultWest HollywoodLos Angeles County
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