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The Weeknd Arrested After Allegedly Punching Cop in Vegas

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By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on January 13, 2015 12:52 PM

R&B singer The Weeknd was arrested over the weekend after allegedly punching a police officer in the head.

The incident occurred early Saturday in Las Vegas, reports E! Online. The Weeknd -- whose real name is Abel Tesfaye -- was reportedly involved in a fight involving a large group of people inside the Cromwell Hotel. When an officer attempting to break up the fight dragged The Weeknd into an elevator, he allegedly punched the officer in the head with a closed fist. As a result, The Weeknd found himself in slightly less hospitable accommodations: the Clark County Detention Center.

What charges is The Weeknd now facing following his arrest?

Battery on a Police Officer

The Weeknd was booked on a charge of battery on a protected person. The crime of battery occurs when a person intentionally and without consent applies force, such as a punch, to the body of another person in a harmful or offensive manner. Like many crimes, there may be different levels of potential criminal punishment for battery depending on the victim.

Generally, crimes committed against police officers, firefighters, or other public servants are punished more severely than when those same crimes are committed against members of the general public. Under Nevada law, for example, battery against a police officer while performing his or her duty is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Released on Bail

The Weeknd didn't stay behind bars long. A spokesman for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police department told E! Online that the singer had already bailed out of jail, and a photo posted on social media on Saturday night showed the singer boarding a jet with the caption "escaped from Las Vegas."

Unfortunately for The Weeknd, his escape will not likely be permanent. Being released on bail requires making a promise to appear in court for scheduled court proceedings. A court may also impose additional restrictions on a defendant's release on bail, although it's not clear if the court did so in this case.

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