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Lil Reese Charged in Connection to YouTube Beating Video: Champaign Police

By Emily Morris | April 29, 2013 5:08pm | Updated on April 29, 2013 6:21pm

CHICAGO — Def Jam rapper Lil Reese's arrest on Sunday was connected to a YouTube video that showed him beating a woman inside her Champaign home, police said.

The South Side rapper, whose given name is Tavares Taylor, was arrested in Chicago early Sunday after officers discovered him sleeping in a car in the 4400 block of South Wells Street in Fuller Park, according to police documents.

Chicago police arrested the 20-year-old after they found a warrant for his arrest from downstate Champaign County.

The Cook County Sheriff's Office said Taylor posted bail Monday on his $100,000 bond.

Taylor is accused of beating a woman inside her apartment. The alleged beating was posted to YouTube in October 2012 and attracted widespread anger on social media, according to published reports.

Lil Reese is signed to label Def Jam Recordings, which has such artists as 2 Chainz, Kanye West and Rihanna on its roster. He's also appeared in videos with fellow South Side rapper and friend Chief Keef, whose given name is Keith Cozart.

The beating allegedly happened in February 2012, according to an emailed statement from Champaign Police spokeswoman Rene Dunn.

The victim, an 18-year-old woman, had returned to her apartment in the 2000 block of Moreland Boulevard in Champaign sometime before 5:22 a.m. after a night out with friends, according to the statement. 

She encountered about 20 to 25 people inside her home, including Taylor, and thought a relative had let them inside, the statement said.

In her account to police, the victim said that when she asked them to leave, Taylor refused and an argument ensued, the statement said.

The argument escalated, and Taylor allegedly began pushing the victim multiple times and slapping her.

The victim was battered multiple times by Taylor and an unidentified male and female, and she was kicked and stomped after she fell to the ground, according to the statement.

A family member and a friend intervened to end the fight, and police were called as the victim and others in the apartment moved to a "safer location," police said.

An official report was made with the Champaign Police Department on Oct. 25, 2012, "after a video of the incident was posted online and the suspect’s identity was disclosed to the victim," the statement reads.

After following up on the case, a warrant was put out for Taylor's arrest on Thursday for criminal trespass.

Taylor was charged with criminal trespass, mob action and battery, according to online Champaign County court records.

At least one petition online called for Def Jam to fire Lil Reese for the video at the time. The petition on Change.org garnered about 5,166 signatures.

Def Jam Recordings declined to comment Monday afternoon.

The rapper appeared to try to brush off the criticism in October on his Twitter account, where he denounced the "haters" who he said uploaded a video from something that happened "years ago," according to MTV.com and other media

The rapper also attracted attention, along with friend Chief Keef, after 18-year-old rapper Lil Jojo, given name Joseph Coleman, was shot and killed in Englewood in October 2012. Lil Reese and Chief Keef had been feuding with Lil JoJo along with Lil Durk and possibly other gang members before Lil JoJo's death, the Sun-Times reported. No one has been charged in Lil JoJo's killing.

Lil Reese appeared in Cook County bond court on Sunday, where his warrant was addressed.

According to Cook County court records, Taylor was convicted of residential burglary in May 2010 and sentenced to two years probation.

Taylor is a member of the Black Disciple street gang, according to police documents.