A man who allegedly broke into actor-rapper LL Cool J’s home suffered a broken nose and jaw at the action star’s hands Wednesday morning after what police sources described as a “knock-down, drag-out” fight.
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LL Cool J, who rose to fame with the aptly named hit song “Mama Said Knock You Out” and portrays a special agent on the CBS drama “NCIS Los Angeles,” proved life imitates art and nabbed the burglar inside his expansive Studio City house.
When Los Angeles police arrived at the Blairwood Drive home around 1 a.m. Wednesday, LL Cool J had detained the battered and bruised suspect. The man was later identified as Jonathan Kirby, 56, a transient with a lengthy arrest record for thefts, fights and drugs, officials said.
Kirby was arrested on suspicion of burglary and may face a battery charge.
LL Cool J, born James Todd Smith, told police he was upstairs in his home when he heard a noise coming from the kitchen area. When he went to investigate, a man came at him, leading to the fight, police said.
During what several sources described as a brawl, Kirby suffered a broken nose, jaw and ribs. The actor, who was not injured, later told authorities that he acted out of the concern for his family.
“LL Cool J, and his family, are safe and thank everyone for their thoughts and concern,” his representative said. “As a father, husband and citizen, he is committed to keeping his family safe and is cooperating with authorities on this private matter.”
A Texas-native, Kirby has a record of thefts, disorderly conduct and other criminal activity across Los Angeles and Orange counties.
Court and prisons records indicate Kirby was sentenced to five years in prison for burglary in the 1990s and three years in prison for petty theft in 2005. He also has another theft conviction for which he served jail time, records show. He was discharged from prison on Feb. 1.
Investigators suspect Kirby may be responsible for other break-ins in the Studio City area in recent weeks.
Richard Winton is an investigative crime writer for the Los Angeles Times and part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2011. Known as
lacrimes on Twitter, during 25 years at The Times he also has been part of the breaking news staff that won Pulitzers in 1998, 2004 and 2016.