The owner of a party bus rental company is facing criminal counts for maintenance failures investigated when a 24-year-old passenger fell out of a bus door onto a freeway and died, Los Angeles City Attorneyt Mike Feuer announced Monday.
Hyros Corp. has repeatedly failed to maintain safely operational vehicles, Feuer alleged.
“With the increased popularity of party buses, it is more important than ever that they comply with safety and maintenance laws,” Feuer said. “My office will take every step we can to assure these buses are safe.”
Ayrapet Kasabyan, 42, and his company were charged with three counts each of failure to comply with an out-of-service order, operating an out-of- service vehicle and failure to maintain a vehicle in safe condition, as well as one count each of failure to maintain a vehicle door in safe condition, failure to maintain vehicle tires in safe condition and failure to keep maintenance or inspection records.
Shortly after midnight on Sept. 29, 2013, Christopher Joseph “C.J.” Sarceno II was celebrating a co-worker’s birthday with about two dozen other people on a 2001 Ford F-550 bus. Sarceno fell out of a door he was leaning on, landed on the Hollywood (101) Freeway and was struck by several vehicles, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Records obtained by the City Attorney’s Office showed that the company failed to comply with previous out-of-service orders for nine vehicles in its fleet issued in August and September of that year, according to Feuer. The company allegedly continued to use those vehicles more than 50 times after being ordered to stop.
The owner is facing up to 4 1/2 years in jail and as much as $9,000 in fines if connvicted. The corporation, already on probation for false advertising, could be ordered to pay up to $11,500 in fines, including $2,500 for the probation violation.
Ayrapet is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.
— City News Service