The late rapper Tupac Shakur has a song called "Hit 'Em Up," and early this morning, an unstable fan apparently took those words to heart.
Armed with a hammer, the half-naked man attacked 14 police cars parked outside the Sixth Police District at 11th and Winter streets in Chinatown at about 5:20 a.m., smashing their windshields and side windows. The man, wearing just shoes and boxer shorts, was muttering as he swung at the cars, although district commander Capt. Brian Korn couldn't confirm earlier reports that he claimed to be Shakur. "He was saying something like: 'I want to make a point,'" Korn said. The man smashed the station's front glass doors as well. When officers ordered him to drop the hammer, he did and was taken into custody without incident, Korn said.
The man, whose name hasn't been released, appeared to be mentally impaired or under the influence of drugs, Korn said. Police took him to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital for a mental evaluation and treatment of a small cut on his finger he sustained while breaking all that glass, Korn said. Charges of criminal mischief are pending.
The district's officers already are using loaner cars from other districts, and Korn expected the damaged cars to be fully restored within the next day or so.
Shakur, an actor and one of the best-selling musicians of all time, died in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in September 1996. That slaying was never officially solved, although the Los Angeles Times in 2002 published a two-part story pinning the murder on a Crips gang member, now dead, who aimed to avenge Shakur's beating of another gang member.