T.I. Jailed in Atlanta, Owes Probation Time in Florida
According to the St. Petersburg Times, T.I. (born Clifford J. Harris Jr.) was briefly jailed in Georgia yesterday (May 10) after appearing in a Fulton County, GA courthouse for an unrelated hearing. Dwight Harris, T.I.'s attorney, said his client was in court because several men accused him of starting a fight on New Year's Eve, but a judge threw out that case. As T.I. was leaving the courtroom, officials informed him of an outstanding warrant for his arrest that had been issued in Florida.
Thomas said T.I.'s Georgia probation officer was unaware that he had been delinquent in performing his community service hours in Florida, but that he has done more than 75 hours of community service in Atlanta.
According to reports, T.I.'s troubles with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office go back to September 7, 2003 when security officers at University Mall asked T.I. and a group of friends to leave the mall because they were "talking very loud" and "causing a disturbance." After they refused to leave, police accounts say that the rapper struck an officer.
T.I. pled guilty to battery on a law enforcement officer, trespassing and disorderly conduct on January 6 of this year and was sentenced to 18 months probation and 75 community service hours by Circuit Judge Daniel Perry. Two months later, after he violated his probation by driving on a suspended license in Georgia, Judge Perry added 150 additional service hours to that sentence.
Despite orders to perform a minimum of five hours community service per month, as of April 18 he had completed only 10 hours, according to probation officer Christina D. Olin. Records show that Judge Perry signed a warrant for T.I.'s arrest on April 24.
After being briefly held Wednesday, Georgia authorities released T.I. on $25,000 bond, but he's expected to turn himself in to Hillsborough County authorities by Monday (May 15), forcing him to cancel a previously scheduled overseas tour.
"He realizes obeying courts and judges is more important than touring," Thomas told the St. Petersburg Times. "He has canceled a major tour to Japan at a great financial loss to himself."
In related news, T.I. also paid final respects to his friend/personal assistant Philant Johnson on Monday (May 8).