Teen, 17, Dies During Apparent Social Media Stunt on Los Angeles Bridge: Police

By Sophie Li
Sophie Li
Sophie Li
May 25, 2023Updated: May 25, 2023

A 17-year-old boy fell off one of the 6th Street Bridge’s arches and died May 20 while attempting to film a social media stunt, authorities said Tuesday.

Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) responded to the fall around 2 a.m. Saturday, Officer Melissa Podany told The Epoch Times. Paramedics transported the boy to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“[The teen fell] when climbing upon one of the arches, in order to post, apparently, a social media broadcast,” Police Chief Michel Moore said at Tuesday’s meeting of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners. “He slipped and fell to his death.”

It was unclear which social media platforms was he planning to use for the broadcast, according to the police.

Moore said that the department has since added more patrols at the location to prevent such “reckless actions.”

The teen was identified as Anthony by his father Paul Luna, KTLA reported.

“He was just a joker,” Luna told the outlet. “For people who met him, who had the opportunity to meet him, that was the No. 1 thing.”

Luna also said it was unlikely his son was filming for social media, saying his son didn’t care about such attention, according to KTLA.

The 6th Street Bridge—which connects the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles with the Boyle Heights neighborhood—had been a hotspot for illegal street takeovers, street racing, TikTok challenges, and graffiti tags following its reopening in July 2022. The LAPD had to shut it down multiple times since then due to reoccurring illegal events.

“Tragically we see that location, while it has spawned a great deal of pride in Los Angeles, it has also unfortunately served as a backdrop now for tragedies such as this,” Moore said.

The original bridge was opened in 1932 and was demolished in 2016 over the structure’s seismic instability concerns. The well-known local landmark has been featured in numerous films, videos, television shows, and artworks.