Crack down on the paps!

From paparazzi.jpgSheriff Cracks Down On Paparazzi By Ryan Gierach, West Hollywood, California “West Hollywood might just begin doing something about the paparazzi plague that follows celebs around the Creative City like gadflies. In a controversial move last week, West Hollywood Sheriffs arrested and booked four camera carriers as they attempted to shoot Britney Spears and other celebrities.  The arrests, all made on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, February 19/20, came after a year and a half of frenzied paparazzi chases around West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip and Robertson/Beverly shopping district that have resulted in car crashes and minor injuries.More recently, when Ms. Spears was admitted to West Hollywood’s Cedars-Sinai Hospital, the rush of paparazzi prevented patients and hospital workers from entering the facility. Reports have Sheriff’s deputies arresting two photographers outside the trendy BV2 Salon around 8 pm Tuesday night while they awaited Britney Spears exit from the salon. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Sheriff spokes person Steve Whitmore told reporters that two men were arrested for obstructing a public walkway.Christian Shostele was held in a squad car and released with a citation after being repeatedly asked to clear the public way, said Mr. Whitmore. He posted $500 bond on site.Deputies took David Tonnessen to the West Hollywood sheriff’s station and ticketed for blocking an entrance and released on $250 bail, he said.Apparently, as many as 50 photogs were crowded on the sidewalk in front of the Doheny Drive salon, often spilling into the public roadway and blocking egress on the sidewalk. Harvey Levin, managing editor of West Hollywood’s, a celebrity-focused website and for whom two of the arrested cameramen worked, called the arrests “bizarre.”Mr. Levin told the LA Times that, “These are people who are instructed not to chase, and don’t. For better or worse, the Sheriff’s Department wanted to make examples of them.”He said he has seen this police reaction brewing, based on the madness surrounding the effort to score a picture of a celebrity, which can net a photographer hundreds of thousands of dollars for the right shot.”

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