March 2, NYC, NY
On a day when the main event was to be the long-awaited sentencing of the rapper Lil Wayne on gun possession charges — he was excused from his previous sentencing date because of dental work — a two-alarm fire broke out in the basement of the court building, at 100 Centre Street. Sentencing and all other matters of courthouse business were postponed, and the building may remain closed for days.Don't worry, there's a strong belief that Lil Wayne will not flee and will surrender to sentencing, unlike some celebrities.
The fire made for a surreal scene outside, where courthouse evacuees mixed with rap fans.
Kelly and Shannon Mulkern, 18, twins from Berkeley Heights, N.J., said they took the day off work to come see Lil Wayne.
“We saw 50 fire trucks and thought, ‘It’s all for Lil Wayne,’ ” Kelly said.
Nearby, a group of French exchange students attending Berkeley College, in White Plains, N.Y., played down the seriousness of the charge to which the rapper pleaded guilty last year — attempted criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree — after being arrested on July 22, 2007, in Manhattan.
“Every rapper is getting a year in jail right now,” said one student, Karl Mukaz, 22. He said the sentencing delay might allow Lil Wayne, whose given name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., to make a few recordings.