AN AUTOGRAPH collector allegedly punched by Kanye West has told The Sun: “I’m just trying to live life and get back home.”
Sources revealed that Justin Poplawski, 40, was the fan who was involved in a huge 3am brawl with rap superstar Kanye early on Thursday in Los Angeles.
Kanye, 44, was named by the LAPD as a suspect in a battery report following the incident but no arrests have been made so far.
Alleged victim Justin, 40, originally from St Louis, Missouri but now believed to be living in Illinois, was pictured earlier in the night behind Kanye and his new flame Julia Fox.
The celebrity enthusiast has been collecting autographs for over 25 years.
He has scores of selfies taken with A-list celebrities and VIPs over the years including Leonardo DiCaprio, Taylor Swift, Barack Obama and Adele.
Justin told The Sun: “I don’t really have a comment right now, not at this moment. I still have other things to take care of. Right now I’m just trying to live life and get back home.”
Asked if he was feeling shook up after the incident, Justin said: “No comment right now.
“I appreciate your concern.”
A man believed to be Justin’s father Joseph was asked about the autograph collector’s side of the story regarding the incident with Kanye and replied: “He’ll figure that out.”
Asked if father-of-four Kanye had made an offer to Justin to make up for the alleged attack, the man believed to be his dad said “I don’t know anything” before hanging up the phone.
Justin’s profile on the Real Autograph Collectors Club website states that gathering celebrity autographs has been his hobby since 1996.
He appears to run his own celebrity autograph business called All-Star Signatures LLC.
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Justin wrote on his profile: “It all started by going to the stadium to meet my favorite baseball players when I was a teenager.
“I quickly realized that my new favorite hobby could be more lucrative than my part time job at Target. So I started going for hockey and football players as well.
“And very soon after that, I started getting musicians as they rolled through town.
“I began making road trips around the Midwest to acquire better names that weren’t coming through St. Louis.
“Now, I spend a couple months a year on the road (from NY to LA) acquiring as many autographs as I can to help bring authentic autographs to the market.”
The incident early on Thursday occurred near the Soho Warehouse in downtown LA.
It reportedly came after Justin asked Kanye for a second autograph after first approaching him outside Delilah.
Kanye had been at the popular West Hollywood nightspot with Julia, 31,before moving on to Soho Warehouse alone, where he was approached by Justin again according to Page Six.
The pair are said to have exchanged words, which are currently under investigation by police, before the rapper allegedly jumped out of his car, called Justin names and then punched him to the ground.
Video of the incident shows Kanye shouting at a female member of his team while the alleged victim lies on the ground.
He can be heard yelling “Get away from me” to which the female staffer replies “Give me your hand.”
Kanye reportedly left before officials arrived at the scene, where a police report was filed.
It is not known if he has spoken to police about his side of the story yet.
Justin allegedly recorded the encounter on his phone, which was shown to the police and will be included in the investigation.
He is said to have refused medical treatment following the incident.