Busta Rhymes pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an August incident where the rapper threw a protein drink at a Manhattan gym employee. Rhymes was initially charged with second-degree assault, a felony, after hurling the cardboard drink container at the employee. By pleading guilty, that charge was first reduced down to a misdemeanor assault and then a harassment count, a simple violation charge that will not reflect on the rapper’s criminal record.
As part of the guilty plea, Rhymes agreed to attend anger management classes. “The criminal charges, especially charging him with a felony, was a bunch of bull,” Rhymes’ lawyer Scott Leemon told the New York Times. “Busta and I are glad the district attorney’s office agreed to drop all the criminal charges.”
On August 5th, Rhymes threw a protein shake at a Steel Gym employee who ran the gym’s front desk, a culmination of two days of arguments between Rhymes and the victim. After the rapper wasn’t allowed to bring in a videographer to tape his workouts, Rhymes returned the following day and once again got into a heated disagreement with the employee. After purchasing the beverage – later confirmed to be a chocolate-flavored Muscle Milk – the rapper splashed water in the employee’s face, who responded by throwing water back in Rhymes’ direction.
The situation escalated to the point that Rhymes then hurled his Muscle Milk at the employee, causing a mild cut that did not require medical attention. The non-severity of the wound, coupled with witness testimony and surveillance footage, convinced the District Attorney’s office to reduce the charges against the rapper, who had already completed three anger management classes following the incident prior to Friday’s sentencing.