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Arts News

VIDEO: Art Walk Devolves Into Brawl in Downtown L.A.

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Wed, Aug 17, 2011 at 4:00 PM
Hey, Downtown Art Walk Task Force! Put this in your pipe and smoke it:

08.11.11 - DTLA Fight from Joel Kuwahara on Vimeo.

The above is a bar brawl outside Down & Out on 5th and Spring, situated along the Art Walk route, just as it let out last Thursday. Looks like kicking food trucks off the Walk's intellectually superior premises might not have been the winning solution...

... to a freak (and very tragic) accident one month ago: The critical injury of a mother and the death of her two-month-old, caused by an unlicensed 22-year-old who needed a lesson in parallel parking.

Though L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, at the time, that "it's irresponsible to blame Art Walk for this crash; from what I understand it was a freak accident," a task force was soon created by the L.A. City Council, to prevent the Walk from becoming "a Mardi Gras type of event." (Mostly so they wouldn't seem like they don't care about dead two-month-olds.)

But did that backfire? Apparently, without the food trucks to satisfy their drunk munchies, the hooligans who inevitably still showed up to the Art Walk-turned-pub crawl on August 11 had to let out their angst on each other.

And, it seems, on the driver of a white sedan, who gets ripped from his seat and into the brawl. Perhaps there's still some animosity toward drivers navigating through street-fair revelers, in the wake of the fatal parking incident?

Blogdowntown writes:

The video, taken by Joel Kuwahara and posted on Vimeo, appears to confirm reports that a driver stranded by the fight was pulled from his or her vehicle and into the fray.

According to reports, several arrests were made, but not before the fighting had gone on for an uncomfortably long time.

Art Walk used to be a day thing, but has turned into a major nightlife event in downtown L.A.

"You get people who are there to appreciate the art and want to go to the galleries," a spokesman for task-force member and City Councilman Jose Huizar told the Weekly's Dennis Romero in July. "Then you also have another contingent of people who are there more for the street fair atmosphere. We have to look at ways to control that."

Keep lookin'.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]

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