He Climbed a Freeway Sign, Then Put on a Show

Environmental activist arrested for his traffic-stopping stunt in Los Angeles
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2018 8:35 AM CDT
LA Commuters Stuck in Traffic Due to Impromptu Rap 'Show'
An activist poses atop a freeway sign while California Highway Patrol officers try to coax the man down in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

The Los Angeles Times describes him as an "aspiring rapper," but Alexander Dunn apparently aspired to snarl traffic and get arrested instead on Wednesday. The 29-year-old performer, sans shirt but with boxer shorts, ascended an exit sign around 8am on one of the 110 Freeway's southbound offramps, rolled out banners—two about pollution; one with his stage name, Dephree, on it—and started rapping, dancing, yelling through a bullhorn, and vaping. All southbound lanes were closed as members of the California Highway Patrol, LAPD, and LA Fire Department tried to cajole Dunn off his makeshift stage, notes NBC Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, a Times reporter live-tweeted video of the incident, per the Washington Post, which called Dunn a "wily foe" who was able to "repeatedly outmaneuver law enforcement," who scaled the structure to try to get Dunn down. The saga eventually ended around 10am, two hours after it began, when Dunn did a backflip off the sign and onto a giant inflatable jump cushion firefighters had positioned directly underneath him on the freeway. Dunn was charged with trespassing, failing to obey a regulatory sign, and delaying a peace officer. More charges could follow if it's proven Dunn pulled this off for commercial gain, and while his producer admits a music video with footage of the hubbub is in the works, he acted unfazed. "You ain't poppin' unless you got haters," the producer said. "The bigger picture [for Dunn] is saving the environment and rapping." (More Los Angeles stories.)

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