PORTLAND Ore. (Reuters) – The young homeless man who accepted Miley Cyrus’ MTV Music Video Award has a warrant for his arrest in Oregon on a probation violation, his probation officer said on Tuesday.
Lee Warren, the Polk County probation officer of 22-year-old Jesse Helt, said local authorities were unsuccessful in finding Helt in Salem, Oregon after his mother told the Oregonian newspaper that Cyrus had given him money to fly home.
Cyrus, 21, opted not to collect the video of the year award on Sunday for her hit “Wrecking Ball” and instead sent Helt in her place as a way to draw awareness to youth homelessness.
“I’ve cleaned your hotels rooms, I’ve been an extra in your movies, I’ve been an extra in your life,” Helt said at the VMAs. “Though I may have been invisible to you in the streets, I have many of the same dreams that brought many of you here tonight.”
Helt has had a warrant for his arrest on a probation violation for criminal trespass since Nov. 2011 after he failed to report and comply with probation supervision, Polk County Director of Community Corrections Martin Silbernagel said.
Helt’s mother, Linda Helt, told the Oregonian that her son had moved to Los Angeles a few years ago and had been homeless at times.
Court records indicate Helt was arrested in 2010 for criminal mischief and criminal trespass, while a burglary charge was dismissed. He was arrested twice in 2011 for probation violations, according to records.
Cyrus defended Helt and accused the media of ignoring the issue of youth homelessness in favor of his legal issues.
“I hope that this can be the start of a national conversation about youth homelessness and how to end it,” Cyrus wrote on Twitter.
“While they (media) obsesses over one homeless mans legal issue lets help the other 1.6 million homeless youth,” she added.
(Reporting by Teresa Carson; Writing by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Diane Craft)