2 arrests made in tagging of downtown L.A. skyscraper under construction
Two men were arrested, cited and released in connection with graffiti covering some 27 floors of an unfinished luxury skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles, authorities announced Thursday.
Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department responded to a vandalism call on Jan. 30 at around 12:45 a.m. in the 1200 block of South Figueroa, the site of the defunct Oceanwide Plaza development.
At the scene, LAPD air support observed more than a dozen suspects trespassing on the property and “possibly spray-painting on the building,” an LAPD news release stated.
While authorities called for additional patrol units, all but two of the suspects were able to flee the location.
The two men, identified as 35-year-old Victor Daniel Ramirez and 25-year-old Roberto Perez, both residents of L.A., were arrested. They were taken to LAPD’s Central Area Station where they were issued citations for trespassing on private property and released.
Oceanwide Plaza, a $1 billion mixed-use retail and luxury apartments project with three towering unfinished structures, stalled in January 2019 after the Beijing-based developer lacked the funds to complete it, the Los Angeles Times reported.
It is in the heart of the downtown Los Angeles entertainment district next to Crypto.com Arena.
Daron Burgundy, a street photographer and witness to the ongoing tagging, told KTLA that the outlaw artists have been working on Oceanwide Plaza for at least that last few days.
Despite the fact that police are aware of the illicit art installment, taggers have continued their work.
Officers responded to another vandalism call at the construction site, in the area of West 11th and South Flower streets, on Feb. 1 just before 1 p.m. An unidentified number of suspects were reportedly tagging the building on the 30th floor.
Security at the construction told police that the suspects were fleeing the scene in a vehicle.
“The officers located the vehicle and gave the driver commands to stop, however, the driver failed to yield to officers,” the release stated. “The vehicle was again located, and a traffic stop was conducted a short distance away.”
In that case, the driver was cited for failure to yield to an officer. The passenger in the vehicle was questioned and released.
Officials with LAPD have met with a representative of Council District 14, which is run by Kevin de León, to discuss securing the sprawling development and adding additional security measures, saying on X, formerly Twitter, that security measures will be implemented immediately, and that the graffiti will be removed.
KTLA has reached out to Councilmember de León’s office about what those security measures might entail and whether there is an estimate on the cost of removing some 27 stories of graffiti from the construction site and has yet to hear back.