Man fatally impaled on fence in East Hollywood after drinking identified

Man fatally impaled on fence in East Hollywood after night of drinking is identified

Authorities have identified a 30-year-old man who was fatally impaled on a fence in East Hollywood early Wednesday as a Los Angeles resident.

Edwin Ochoa was found dead, his head and neck impaled by an iron fence in the 500 block of North Berendo Street about 3:30 a.m. He apparently had been drinking beers in a tree 20-feet-up. His 30th birthday was Saturday.

“Over the years, you see stuff like this,” said LAPD Sgt. Melvin Gamble of the Rampart division. “You still don’t get used to it.”

Officers went to the 500 block of North Berendo Street about 3:30 a.m. when a resident spotted what was presumed to be a prowler near a fence, Gamble said.

But police made a grisly discovery when they arrived.

“It looked like a Hollywood scene staged,” Gamble said. “He was impaled on the fence and couldn’t get off of it.”

The body was found in an almost standing position, said Lt. Michael Mabie. He appeared to have been impaled through the neck and face and his hands were on the fence as if he was trying to hold himself up, Mabie said. It's unclear how long the body had been there.

The man was seen routinely drinking in the area by residents, according to Gamble. Police have cited him several times in the past.

Authorities said that either Tuesday night or early Wednesday, the man climbed about 20 feet up into the tree to drink. Police found about a dozen empty beer cans scattered on the ground around him, along with broken branches.

It was unclear if the man fell while getting down or if the branch he was on simply snapped, sending him falling to his death, Gamble said. The investigation is ongoing.

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times


12:32 p.m.: This story was updated with victim's identification.

This story was originally published at 7:12 a.m.