Story has been updated with information from the Los Angeles Police Department.
Video has emerged of a brawl at a Downtown Los Angeles intersection. Shot at 1:55 a.m. on August 12, the film shows someone approaching a car at an intersection. He or she drags the driver out of the car and the two fight as a crowd surrounds them. Eventually, the driver gets away and drives off.
Downtown LA resident Joel Kuwahara, who lives across the street on the corner of 5th and Spring, captured the entire episode on his iPhone. He tells The Huffington Post that he was just about to go to bed when he heard screams coming from the street. Kuwahara says, "You can tell the difference between people having fun and the sounds of panic." He adds, "once I saw people in the intersection, I knew something was going on."
The entire altercation took about 5 minutes, though Kuwahara only posted about one minute of it. Kuwahara says 10 minutes after it was over, he could hear helicopters coming and see about 8-10 police cars down Spring Street. And while what he captured on video was "the biggest thing" he's ever seen on his corner, Kuwahara says, "I hear shouting almost every night on that corner." He also adds, "I see a fight or some kind of confrontation break out almost every other month." Across the street from Kuwahara's loft are two bars: The Down And Out and The Crocker Club.
According to Blog Downtown, there were reportedly up to 100 people that may have been involved in the brawl. Blog Downtown also notes that several arrests were made later that night.
Captain Todd Chamberlain, commanding officer of the Central Area for the LAPD, confirms to The Huffington Post that there were actually no arrests made for the assault depicted in the video. In fact, no police units responded to the incident because no one called emergency services about it. Any arrests that were made in the area that night were unrelated to the video.
Chamberlain urges Downtown LA residents who see "large, unruly crowds" to call 911 and let the police know about it -- even if they fear the calls might be redundant. "Even if it isn't an emergency, we want to know if there's a pattern of conduct going on" that can be corrected by educating business owners about how to be good neighbors, says Chamberlain. It's a safety issue for both residents and the people who are walking back to their cars after a night out, he said, adding "we don't want things to escalate into what could be a serious situation."
As more and more Angelenos are moving in to Downtown LA, the policing needs of the neighborhood are changing as well, notes Chamberlain. Downtown LA residents deserve "the same quality of life in their homes as anybody else would expect," he says, which means making sure "we do the enforcement that's necessary."