An aspiring rapper who snarled traffic during the morning commute for nearly two hours last summer by climbing atop a sign to drape banners over the southbound Harbor (110) Freeway in downtown Los Angeles is set to be arraigned July 1 on five misdemeanor charges, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Wednesday.
Alexander Dunn — who goes by the stage name Dephree — was charged last week with trespassing, resisting an officer, causing a public nuisance and failing to abide by a peace officer’s instructions, according to the City Attorney’s Office.
The stunt — purportedly for use in a music video — played havoc with commuters during the morning rush hour, causing extensive backups.
“This outrageous conduct required the intervention of precious emergency services to assure it ended safely, stopped traffic for nearly two hours and interfered with the lives and work of thousands of commuters,” Feuer said in a statement. “We will hold the defendant accountable for his reckless, selfish actions.”
Dunn scaled an exit sign on the 110 Freeway last June 27 and hung banners that included the slogans “fight pollution not each other” and “give a hoot, don’t pollute.” He recorded himself while perched on the sign, and his running commentary included chants of “fight pollution not each other” and a statement that “big oil has bought our government.”
The CHP closed the southbound 110 Freeway between the Hollywood (101) Freeway and the Third Street on-ramp, as well as the transition road from the southbound 101 to the southbound 110 to limit traffic from entering the area. The Los Angeles Fire Department also responded, placing giant air bags below the sign as a precaution and extending ladders to the sign.
Dunn, who was wearing only shorts, back-flipped onto an air bag and was immediately taken into custody. He was released from jail the following day.
If convicted as charged, he could face jail time and thousands of dollars in fines and restitution for emergency response costs, according to the City Attorney’s Office.