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Car bursts through wall of Venice apartment

January 15, 2011 |  5:03 pm


Alex Pudenz thought he was still dreaming when a car burst through the wall of his Venice apartment and flung him from his bed into the closet.

When he came to his senses just after 5 a.m. Saturday he heard the woman behind the wheel of the car cry “Help me out,” so he knocked on his neighbors’ doors, telling them to call 911.

Los Angeles firefighters responded to the apartment building at the 1700 block of South Pacific Avenue and put out a small vehicle fire. Paramedics took the driver to the hospital with moderate injuries.

Pudenz, a 36-year-old computer programmer, was scraped and bruised but emerged remarkably unscathed considering that a car had smashed through his bedroom wall and left tire marks on the edge of the bed he had been sleeping in.

“I feel lucky and shaken up,” he said. “I'm just happy I'm alive.”

-- Tony Barboza

Photo: Alex Pudenz salvages his belonging after a woman smashed a car into his apartment in Venice. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times