Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2003 | 11 a.m.
After being bombarded by calls from the media Tuesday about their possible involvement in the arrest of Michael Jackson, Metro Police contacted California authorities to ask if they needed assistance in apprehending the pop star.
A warrant was issued for Jackson's arrest after authorities searched his home near Santa Barbara. Jackson was in Las Vegas at the time and is still reportedly here. While authorities would not comment on the nature of the investigation, reports say it related to accusations of child molestation.
"Usually if a law enforcement agency knows where someone is and they believe they may have an arrest warrant coming that they will want to be executed by another jurisdiction, they will give that other law enforcement agency a heads up, so that while waiting for the arrest warrant, officers could keep an eye on that person," Officer Jose Montoya, Metro spokesman, said. "That hasn't happened in relation to Michael Jackson."
By last night, Metro had gotten more than 70 calls in a few hours from reporters asking about Michael Jackson. Metro's night watch commander called Santa Barbara sheriff's deputies to ensure they were not needed "since we had not heard from them."
"They said it's their baby and they are negotiating his surrender with his attorneys," Montoya said this morning.
Lots of other people were trying to keep an eye on Jackson in Las Vegas on Tuesday, though. Reports that Jackson was filming a music video in Las Vegas drew media, onlookers and fans to a production studio behind the Palms on Tuesday, hours after authorities raided his Neverland Ranch compound in Los Olivos, Calif., north of Santa Barbara.
A spokesman with CMX Productions, a studio off Valley View Boulevard just south of the Palms, would not confirm or deny that Michael Jackson was at the studio Tuesday.
"I haven't seen him (Jackson) today," said Dean Delorean, publicist for Las Vegas Video & Sound, a division of CMX. "Joe Jackson, Mrs. Jackson and Jermaine Jackson are all here for business."
A Jackson family spokesman, Steve Manning, said that he had no comment on Michael Jackson's whereabouts and would say only, "We stand behind Michael."
The singer has denounced media coverage of the search of his home by about 70 officers and investigators with the Santa Barbara County sheriff's office and the district attorney's office as part of what authorities an ongoing criminal investigation, authorities said.
Jackson and his three young children have spent the last three weeks in Las Vegas making a music video.
Delorean would not comment on whether Jackson was filming a video for his new single, "One More Chance," at the studio. Dancers and others coming to work at the studio Tuesday indicated that Jackson was shooting a video there.
Delorean said CMX was working with the Jackson family on a project involving boxing promoter Don King and a championship fight card in Atlantic City in December.
About 40 members of the local and national media converged on the studio Monday, including representatives from People magazine and the National Enquirer.
The Metro Police public information office got at least 70 calls from media from around the world asking about Jackson, Sgt. Rick Barela said.
"They wanted to know if we were watching Mr. Jackson, if we had him under surveillance," Barela said. "We haven't been contacted by any law enforcement agencies about Mr. Jackson so we couldn't even confirm or deny if he was in town."
Jackson has been seen all over town in the last few weeks. He has shopped in the Desert Passage mall at the Aladdin and at the Forum Shops at Caesars. He was at the Radio Music Awards at the Aladdin and attended a Celine Dion show.
Jackson has also been part of a fund-raiser and there have been reports of initial discussions to develop a show on the Strip starring Jackson.
Donna Green drove by the reporters waiting outside CMX Productions about 1 p.m. and yelled at them to leave Jackson alone. Green, a 39-year-old who just moved to Las Vegas from California, is the head of a Michael Jackson fan club and has a decal on the rear windshield of her car that reads, "Michael Jackson, the king of pop."
Her car also sports vanity licence plates that feature the letter "I," a heart and then the letters "MJJ."
Green said she has been a Jackson fan for more than 30 years.
"We just saw what was going on in the news and we wanted to come down and show our support for Michael," said Green, who arrived at the production studio with her 15-year-old son Brian. "My son and my daughter were born and raised on Michael Jackson."
Green said that while running her fan club, "King of Pop Fanatics," she has had the chance to talk to Jackson on the phone, and was able to meet him recently.
"People just need to know what a kind and wonderful human being he is," Green said. "He would do anything for people. He'd give someone the shirt off his back."