An LAPD spokesperson confirmed the arrest to BuzzFeed News, adding that it was a citizen's arrest performed by one of the paparazzi.
"Paparazzi were around him, there was some pushing and shoving, one of the paparazzi fell down, and that’s the paparazzi that signed a private person's arrest," the LAPD spokesperson said.
Contrary to reports that Tomlinson was released on $20,000 bail, the LAPD spokesperson said the 25-year-old was later released from the police station on his own recognizance.
In a statement provided to BuzzFeed News by the singer's publicist, Tomlinson lawyer Martin Singer said the musician acted in self-defense after paparazzi "were attacking his girlfriend":
The paparazzi provoked and caused the altercation that occurred with Louis at the airport this morning. This is not the first or last time that a paparazzi has created an altercation with a celebrity. While the altercation was going on with the paparazzi, three other individuals were attacking his girlfriend during this incident and he came to her defense.