Thursday, December 31, 2015

Red Car Property, Lot C: Never A Dull Moment

Stuff you missed this year, and in 1996...
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, May 11, 2015.  One evening, last May, much to the alarm of neighbors, more than a dozen police cars, including LAPD officers in riot gear and circling helicopters, showed up to a house on Riverside Drive, accessed via the Red Car Property's Lot C, north of India Street.  Yes, there is access to the house from Riverside Drive, but most residents here use the Red Car Property.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, May 11, 2015.  Police cars were lined up on the Red Car Property, north of India Street; on India Street; as well as on Riverside Drive around Gilroy.

In an email response to my inquiry at the time, LAPD Senior Lead Officer (SLO) for Silver Lake, Lenny Davis replied, officers responded to a call of shots fired in the 2300 block of Riverside Drive.  "Due to recent national events, we are tending to respond with our equipment on when we handle calls like that."  While they found no evidence of shots fired, they did recover two stolen cars parked on the Red Car Property. 

Last May's incident was actually mild compared to the 1996 bust at a house a few hundred feet north on Riverside Drive, also accessible via the Red Car Property north of India Street.  Then, an LAPD undercover drug buy quickly turned into a huge weapons bust.  It was such a large and volatile cache, police closed Riverside Drive, Fletcher Drive, both the 5 and the 2 Freeways, as well as neighborhood streets.  There was a huge back up of traffic as streets and freeways were closed and evacuated for hours while the bomb squad and LAFD cleared the cache of weapons. 

In the 1996 incident, LAPD discovered the homeowner had broken into an out-of-commission, 8' diameter concrete conduit.  It was a pre-1912 DPW water main that doesn't even show up on current tract maps - somewhere in the hillside west of Riverside Drive.  (Note: for all you LA City nerds: it pre-dates the Crystal Springs Conduit, which is not as large.)  

The homeowner was using the 8' concrete conduit as a firing range for military assault weapons.  He even had a grenade launcher.  Next door neighbors, TV news reporters and LAPD Silver Lake SLO Al Polehonki, went inside the tunnel once it was cleared by LAFD and LAPD.  All reported the same thing: the thickness of the concrete and the hillside created a sound barrier so the neighbors did not hear what was happening underground. 

The use of an old water main as a firing range for military assault weapons however, would raise questions about slope stability if the conduit was damaged by the weapons.

*Stuff You Missed This Year is our annual wrap up of interesting photos and things we just didn't have a chance to run, because everything seems to always happen at the same time.  Since the May 2015 incident appeared to involve ongoing criminal activity (unrelated to the 1996 incident other than by location) and a major show of force by the LAPD, we really didn't know what to do with it at the time other than report it to the neighbors, CD13 and the Red Car Property owner's rep.