A professional skateboarder's bizarre spree of tearing paintings off the walls of a New York City hotel hallway was spurred by drinking and what he thought were anti-hangover pills, he said Wednesday.
"I became something that wasn't myself -- something like the Hulk," Jereme Rogers said as he left a Manhattan courtroom after pleading guilty to a mis- demeanor criminal mischief charge. His case will be closed without further jail time or probation if he pays $2,850 in restitution and appears for a Jan. 31 sentencing.
Rogers, 26, had been held on $10,000 bond since his arrest last week. He admitted he went down a hall, naked, at the Affinia Shelburne hotel, pulling three paintings off the walls and throwing them to the ground. Their glass shattered, and he tore some canvases with his hands.
Rogers, who's also a rap artist, said he'd worked on some music at a recording studio and then went to a bar. A woman he met there gave him the pills, saying they'd combat a hangover, said the skateboarder, whose first name is pronounced like "Jeremy."
He said he couldn't entirely remember what ensued but recalled feeling he was acting with an inspired purpose.
"Although I was doing something destructive, I thought I was saving the world" -- until he found himself on a gurney and began to realize he was in trouble, said the skateboarder, who sports tattoos with such messages as "fear no man" and "in God I trust."
After garnering TransWorld Skateboarding magazine's rookie of the year award in 2006, Rogers earned the men's street skateboarding bronze medal at the 2007 X Games. He retired from the sport in 2009 to focus on music but made a skateboarding comeback in 2010.
He's had brushes with the law in Florida and California, including a 2009 incident in which police talked him down from his roof in Redondo Beach, Calif., after he clambered up and began preaching to his neighborhood in the nude. Rogers was hospitalized and not arrested; he later said he'd eaten some psychedelic mushrooms and "bugged out."
Rogers recently launched a skateboard brand, Selfish Skateboards, and says he's skating "better than ever."
"It's a mind sport. My mind is in a better place than now than it ever has been," he said, conceding that the hotel ruckus wasn't a good illustration of that.