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