Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Band members who blocked Hollywood Freeway charged with felonies


Three members of a band who blocked traffic on the Hollywood Freeway last month for a performance officials labeled a publicity stunt were charged Tuesday with felony conspiracy charges.

"This was not a matter involving free speech or lawful protest,” said Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley in a written statement. “This was a well-orchestrated commercial stunt perpetrated by these defendants and their accomplices with no concern for the lives or well-being of thousands of innocent victims who were caught up in the prank. “I hope this filing sends a strong message of deterrence,” Cooley said. “This type of dangerous behavior will not be tolerated.”

Imperial Stars members Keith Richard Yackey, 31, of Las Vegas; vocalist Christopher Roy Wright, 32, of Garden Grove; and David Paul Hale, 30, of Stanton were arrested last month after the incident.

The musicians were on a modified truck that they pulled across three lanes of the southbound 101 Freeway just south of the Sunset Boulevard off-ramp and then scrambled to the top of the vehicle, where they began playing a song called "Traffic Jam 101."

The trio originally were booked by the California Highway Patrol on suspicion of malicious and willful disturbance by loud noise, willful obstruction of public officers or emergency medical personnel, committing an act injuring the public health and unlawful assembly.


L.A. City College student stabbed, robbed of laptop

USC freshman dies after passing out in her dorm room

Daytime temperatures expected to warm up across Southern California

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: A truck showing members of the Imperial Stars blocks the 101 Freeway in Hollywood. Credit: Irfan Khan /Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (57)

im not sure what the bigger joke is, the stunt or the charges....

GOOD! I will die defending your freedom of speech, but this was asinine, stupid, obnoxious and a major safety risk. Hope they get a couple of months and a hefty fine.

GOOD. ...idiots.

Too bad California doesn't have public canings for these sort of things. I wish they had tried that stunt in Singapore.

Good deal, hope these retards get convicted and have to go to jail...

All I have to say to this is "YEAH YEAH YEAH YEEEAH".

They should be publicly beaten with bullwhips with 50 lashes well laid on. What a bunch of total low lifes.

i wish Cooley would charge Taylor Swift with a couple felonies too...not for the clusterjam of a concert on hollywood blvd a couple months back...but for her off pitch singing!....why not?? ;*)

Excellent news!

Hope these charges aren't pled down to misdemeanors.

Outstanding. What a bunch of thoughtless a****les.

Cooley sounds bitter about losing to Harris... Taking frustrations out on a trio of numb nutts

..yikes! crime of the century!! 'law enforcement'???.. huh ..only in L'America..

felony conspiracy? duh. now we know why you lost the election, cooley. this was a traffic issue, not a criminal conspiracy. i agree that it was incredibly stupid and annoying, and they deserve to be fined and possibly jailed, but spare us the grandstanding yourself...

Let's hope they enjoy prison. That's where these jerks belong.

They'll probably get more time for blocking the freeway than Johannes Mehserle did for killing an unarmed man by shooting him in the back in front of dozens of cell phone cameras.

And I had forgotten about this band until now. I'd say the promo was an epic fail.

Aren't we overreacting just a tiny bit? A felony? Give me a break. It is just a prank. Where is your sense of humor?

This was not a freedom of speech issue. If you think this is freedom of speech, then any company, business or individual can do any kind of stunt they want as long as it didn't hurt anyone and they could claim freedom of speech.

Why couldn't they have stopped the truck on traintracks in front of a train? That would have gotten much more publicity!


What "conspiracy charges" specifically?

... And are the other charges they were booked on going to stick as well?

This article seems vague and incomplete.

Sorry, I'm a rock n' roller my whole life, so I hope these guys rock on...SOMEPLACE ELSE! This is L.A., dudes. and I don't care if you're Mother Theresa, you do NOT make driving any more painful than it already is! Seriously,
these guys deserve a little mercy because they're young and dumb, but otherwise, make it hurt...

These numbnuts ended up wasting the day of thousands of folks (and wasting millions of dollars in economic activity in LA) that day with their stunt.

Not a felony. Very annoying and worth a decent sized fine and possibly a little cell time, but it isn't a felony. You want to ruin a person's record for being stupid, but not malicious? I agree with some here, Cooley is grandstanding.

People should have thrown their drinks from their cars at them... that would have been appropriate. Who's idea was this stunt anyway? The band members' or their manager's? I can see how it might seem like a good idea at first glance, sort of like U2's NYC rooftop concert (which also got shut down by the cops for creating a major disruption), but it is in the middle of the f'n freeway guys! I mean, if you can get a hefty ticket for changing lanes without signaling, what did you think this would get you? I'm sure they thought they'd pay a fine, which they'll write off as a marketing/publicity expense... but that the return would be profitable. WRONG You're nobody because you aren't special. No amount of publicity is going to make you successful.

1 2 3 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: