Echo Park Crime Report

by journojames on February 2, 2012

Originally published Feb. 7, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA – Two 21-year-old men were stabbed and hospitalized after they got into a gang-related fight with two other men outside a bar last Thursday night, according to police.

Little Joy bar, Photo courtesy of the Eastsider

One of the victims, who was stabbed 10 times and was initially in critical condition, has been stabilized, and the other victim, who was stabbed once, was released after receiving treatment, according to Lt. John Cook of LAPD’s Northeast Division. The names of the victims have not been disclosed because the investigation is still ongoing.

The stabbings were reported close to midnight outside the Little Joy bar on Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park.

“We believe this is gang-related,” said Rick Ortiz, chief of detectives in the Northeast Division’s gang unit. “There have been no arrests but we do have leads.”

The two victims and the two suspects got into an argument in the bar at some point during the evening, according to Ortiz. When the victims left Little Joy, he said, the two suspects followed them out and their argument escalated. He said that is when they got into a physical fight on Portia, a nearby residential street about a half block away.

“It started off as a good night. We had a band playing and everyone had a good time,” said Travis Skaug, Little Joy bartender. “I can’t believe it happened.”

Skaug said that he did not notice any kind of argument inside the bar among his customers. He said he only realized something had happened when their security doorman notified him.

“He said there was a guy out front stumbling and totally bleeding,” said Skaug.

Echo Park crime scene, Photo courtesy of Echo Park

According to Senior Liaison Officer Al Polehonki of the LAPD, total violent crime was down in the Echo Park area in 2010, when compared to figures in 2009, dropping 19 percent. And, according to the LA Times’s crime database, Echo Park was ranked no. 82 among 227 neighborhoods in Los Angeles, in the rate of violent crimes per 10,000 people, which outranked other areas like Hancock Park and Marina del Rey.

Although there was an outbreak of gang-related violence in the area this past December, Skaug said he had not seen a noticeable spike in violent crime lately. However, he took notice of this most recent attack in his neighborhood.

“I can’t believe someone stabbing some guy 10 times,” he said. “That’s crazy.”

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