Video shows daredevil tagger on ledge of downtown LA skyscraper
(KTLA) – Frightening video taken dozens of stories above downtown Los Angeles captured a person traversing the outside ledge on one of three unfinished Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers that taggers have recently covered in graffiti.
Trespassing and tagging at the now defunct $1 billion mixed-use retail and luxury apartment complex in the heart of downtown L.A.’s entertainment district has been an ongoing problem for police and city leaders.
Two men were arrested late last week for trespassing on the property. Both were cited and released. On Tuesday, officials with the Los Angeles Police Department said another four suspects were arrested.
Footage obtained by Nexstar’s KTLA shows a person, completely untethered, stepping off what may be a balcony area, moving around a steel beam and onto the ledge. They continue to gingerly move across the entire side of the building, disappearing around the corner.
It’s unclear how many stories up the untethered person is, but the lights of downtown L.A. can be seen far below, along with one of the other distant vacant towers.
Some of the outlaw artists tagging the building have even spoken out.
A tagger known as Merch said graffiti artists were inspired after a similar project for Art Basel in Miami Beach in December, and wanted “to do an L.A. version.”
The artists also placed blame on Oceanwide Holdings of China, the complex’s developers, who stopped construction on the project in 2019 when they ran out of funding and have since been accused of not paying the security guards at the site.
“With all due respect, s— is abandoned, doing nothing. Let’s put some color on this b—- and do what we do if they ain’t gonna finish the job,” an artist known as Hopes said.
Daron Burgundy, a street photographer and witness to the ongoing tagging of three unfinished towers, told KTLA that graffiti artists from out of state have been traveling to L.A. to leave a mark on the illicit art installment.
“LAPD mentioned that there might be an Instagram post floating around, and apparently, it was inviting people to come,” Burgundy said. “It’s been wild to watch. It’s kind of interesting. It’s not so luxury around here anymore.”
On Jan. 1, LAPD’s Central Division said personnel had 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.
“The measures will be implemented immediately, and the graffiti will be removed,” LAPD said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).
KTLA reached out to Councilmember de León’s office at that time, asking what those security measures might entail and whether there is an estimate on the cost of removing some 27 stories of graffiti on three vacant buildings. The office has yet to reply.