Tim Mihalsky was at LAX this morning picking up his dad from the airport when he witnessed a scuffle outside the American Airlines security check-in at Terminal 4.
West was in the middle of the madness, which was captured on tape by TMZ.
"I heard all this noise and yelling and I was like, 'What's going on?' Security and cops were running over to this fight. The commotion was going on for a couple minutes. I heard something slam on the floor and it was kind of crazy," Mihalsky tells E! News.
"It happened so quick I didn't know what was going on. And because of all the weird things that have happened at airports, and it being Sept. 11, I didn't want to get too close to it all. But I saw Kanye in the scuffle. There were like at least 10 people surrounding him in the chaos. It was just pure chaos."
Sources say that the incident involved a freelance still photographer and his brother, a videographer who works for TMZ. Both are celeb-seeking fixtures at the airport.
The L.A. college student hightailed it out of the area before seeing West get detained for allegedly destroying a $10,000 videocam.
The 31-year-old rapper and his road manager, Don Crowley, were arrested at 7:51 a.m., both on charges of felony vandalism. They remain in police custody.
(Originally published Sept. 11 at 11:11 a.m. PT.)