Henry County police told Atlanta’s WSB-TV Channel 2 that the 37-year-old rapper (real name: Clifford Harris Jr.) was arrested around 4 a.m. Wednesday and later released on bond.
According to the local news station, T.I. was returning to his gated community and got into an argument with the security guard, who would not let him enter because he did not have his key; during the altercation T.I. asked the security guard: “Don’t you know who I am?” Channel 2 and the Associated Press report he was taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.
The rapper spoke to The Blast about the encounter, claiming the charges were racially motivated and telling the outlet the officers who arrested him are “white cops in a very white area.”
T.I. told The Blast the guard on duty was sleeping when he returned home early Wednesday morning from the recording studio; the rapper said the guard “antagonized” him and there was a “very heated debate” but slammed reports that there was an assault, adding the guard “may have been hurt by my words” but that things did not get physical between them.
A 911 call of the incident released by TMZ features the unnamed guard telling the operator, “A resident is walking back here at the guard shack where I’m at … I’ve been threatened by a resident and he’s here now knocking on the door.” T.I. is then heard in the background asking for the guard’s name, which he refuses to give. “You’re making it worse for yourself, man,” T.I. responds, reminding the guard he lives in the community and pays for his services. He then asks the guard to step outside the booth to talk.
The Henry County police did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
The rapper added he plans to pursue legal action against his home owners’ association and expects all charges to be dropped.
- Want to keep up with the latest from PEOPLE? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get our best stories of the day delivered straight to your inbox.
T.I. (aka “Tip”) is married to Tameka “Tiny” Harris. The pair — who starred on VH1’s T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle — share two sons and one daughter; the rapper also has two sons, a daughter and a step-daughter from previous relationships.
In a statement provided on behalf of T.I. to PEOPLE, his attorney Steve Sadow wrote: “Tip was wrongfully arrested early this morning when he attempted to gain entrance into his gated community – where his wife ‘Tiny’ and his family reside. The guard was sound asleep when Tip arrived at the guardhouse. It took Tip some time to wake up the sleeping guard. Tip clearly identified himself and sought entry. The guard refused entry.”
Sadow added: “Tip was in contact with ‘Tiny’ by phone and ‘Tiny’ confirmed that Tip should be let in immediately. The guard continued to refuse entry without justification. Words were exchanged and apparently the guard and/or a supervisor called the police. When the police arrived, they were not interested in hearing Tip’s side of the story and wrongfully chose to end the situation by arresting Tip.”
This isn’t the Grammy winner’s first brush-up with the law.
In 2007, he was arrested ahead of the BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta and was charged with possession of unregistered machine guns and silencers and possession of firearms by a convicted felon; he was fined $100,000 and sentenced to one year in prison. Then in 2010, he was sentenced to 11 months in prison for violating probation after being arrested on the suspicion of Ecstasy.
“I screwed up. I screwed up big time and I am sorry,” T.I. said at his 2010 sentencing. “I’m truly and sincerely sorry. I don’t want and I don’t need to use drugs anymore. I want them out of my life.”
T.I.’s new series, T.I.‘s Grand Hustle, premieres this summer on BET.