Young Buck: Chris Pizzello/AP
Gary Susman
November 19, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

On Monday night at the Vibe Awards, rapper Young Buck picked up a trophy, as he and the rest of G-Unit were cited as best group. On Tuesday, he received a less welcome citation: a warrant for his arrest from the Santa Monica police, who named him as a suspect in the stabbing of a man who reportedly punched hip-hop titan Dr. Dre. Two days after police said they hoped Young Buck (real name: David Darnell Brown) would turn himself in, his attorney issued a statement saying that his client did plan to ”surrender in the near future and then be released on bail.” The lawyer, Scott Leeman, added, ”I want it to be very clear Young Buck was not running from anyone. Upon learning the he was wanted by the Santa Monica Police Department, we, as his attorneys, immediately contacted the Santa Monica Police and assured them that Mr. Brown would appear at a mutually convenient time for processing.”

According to police, who held a press conference on Tuesday, Jimmy James Johnson approached Dre in the audience, asking for an autograph, then punched him several times. Security officers pulled Johnson away, but a melee broke out, with Dre defenders tossing chairs. (The brawl was edited out of Tuesday’s awards show broadcast on UPN.) Johnson was stabbed in the chest and suffered a collapsed lung; he was hospitalized and remains in stable condition. A video of the incident shows three men wielding knives. Young Buck, who records for Dre’s Aftermath label, ”is clearly depicted holding the knife after the assault,” police chief James Butts said at the press conference. The 23-year-old rapper faces a charge of assault with a deadly weapon and a bail already set at $500,000.

Speaking up on behalf of the Nashville-bred Brown, whose solo debut CD Straight Outta Ca$hville sold 700,000 copies this summer, was his mother, Audrey Horn, who told the Associated Press that it was unfair to label her son a criminal just because he’s a gangsta rapper. ”The Santa Monica police have been unfair to David because he?s been treated like a real live criminal when the man who attacked Dr. Dre is being treated like a victim,” she said.

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