Louis Tomlinson was arrested on Friday night after getting into a physical altercation with a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport, PEOPLE confirms.
The 25-year-old former One Direction singer was arriving at LAX with his girlfriend Eleanor Calder when he allegedly pushed a male paparazzo, who fell and claimed he had injured himself.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Tomlinson was in the baggage claim area where he was “surrounded by paparazzi.” After “one of the paparazzi fell and he claimed he hurt himself,” Tomlinson was placed under citizens arrest.
An LAX police officer tells PEOPLE that the paparazzi were snapping photos of the couple when a verbal altercation turned physical.
“[Tomlinson] grabbed [the paparazzo] by his lower leg and knocked him on the ground,” the spokesman says. “He hit his head on the floor. He was transported to the hospital. There were a lot of people around watching it.”
Police received word of the incident at around 8:25 p.m. PT, the officer says. Tomlinson was arrested on misdemeanor battery charges and booked at a nearby LAPD station by 12:38 a.m. PT on Saturday and released nearly an hour later at 1:32 a.m. PT. He is due in court on March 29, according to the booking record.
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At least one woman was videotaping the incident on a cell phone, the spokesman says, and she began arguing with Calder. Tomlinson rushed to his girlfriend’s defense, and the woman ended up on the ground with an injured eye.
Both the woman and the paparazzo filed “private persons arrest” statements, the officer tells PEOPLE.
“By the time we got there, they are screaming and hollering for [Tomlinson and Calder] to be arrested,” he continues, noting that the physical struggle was over by then. “We took [Tomlinson] into custody.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, Tomlinson’s lawyer Martin Singer said it was the paparazzi that provoked and caused the altercation.
“This is not the first or last time that a paparazzi has created an altercation with a celebrity. While the altercation was going on with the paparazzi, three other individuals were attacking his girlfriend during the incident and he came to her defense.”
TMZ was first to report this news.
- reporting by SARA NATHAN, HARRIET SOKMENSEUR and MARIA MERCEDES LARA