February 24, 1998
Rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard is going to ruin his bad-boy image. The Wu-Tang Clan member rushed to the aid of a 4-year-old Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, girl Saturday after she was run over by a car. The rap star aka Russell Jones was one of a dozen men on Fulton St. who lifted a 1996 Mustang off little Maati Lovell. Jones then went to visit the girl in the hospital, shocking the victim’s parents, who had no idea one of the biggest names in rap had helped save their daughter. Maati’s mother, Maxine Lovell, was still shaken by the incident when she spoke with the Daily News yesterday. “I saw the whole thing,” she said. “My 12-year-old [Kelly] and Maati were going toward the sidewalk to the vegetable stand. I saw a car coming. Maati hit the car and rolled on the hood of the car. She rolled off and she disappeared. I screamed, ‘Where’s my baby?
‘ Somebody said, ‘Under the car!
‘ I started screaming, ‘Move the car!
‘ ” She continued: “Some brothers came from out of nowhere. They lifted the car. Someone slid [Maati] from underneath. She didn’t cry and she didn’t scream. She didn’t know what had happened to her. But when she saw my face, she started wailing.
” Among Maati’s rescuers were Jones and his friends, who had been working at Papa Wu’s Brooklyn Sounds recording studios on Fulton St. The accident occurred outside Brooklyn Sounds. Firefighters took Maati to Kings County Hospital, where she was treated for first and second-degree burns from contact with the car’s engine. Police confirmed the accident but said the driver, Arthur Braxton of Virginia Beach, would not be charged. It wasn’t until Jones and a bunch of his friends showed up at the hospital to visit the girl that Maxine Lovell and her husband, Ben, realized that one of the heroes was the rapper, whose Grammy-nominated album, “Wu-Tang Forever,” sold 4 million copies last year. “They said, ‘We’re just here to see if the little girl was all right,’ ” Ben Lovell said. “We didn’t know who it was, but our daughter Kelly recognized him. We asked for his phone number, and somebody wrote down ‘Wu-Tang Clan.
‘ ” This was no Grammy publicity stunt. Wu-Tang Clan publicists were unaware of the incident until The News called yesterday. Jones, a Brooklyn native, has a complicated history.
He was shot in the stomach in 1994 by a rival rapper and was arrested in December for falling behind on child support. The Wu-Tang Clan is named after a sect in a karate film. Notes: Russell Jones a.k.a. Ol’ Dirty Bastard.