DOWNTOWN : Charges Filed Over Store’s Loud Music


The owner of an electronics store in the Broadway area has been slapped with criminal charges for playing loud music through speakers placed on the sidewalk last year, a common promotional technique along the shopping strip.

Fred Lahijaniha, owner of Elegant Electronics Inc. at 218 1/2 W. 5th St., is scheduled to appear Thursday in Los Angeles Municipal Court for arraignment on one count of disturbing the peace, a misdemeanor. If convicted, the 39-year-old Canoga Park man faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Responding to neighbors’ complaints, police officers reportedly warned Lahijaniha repeatedly about playing music too loudly and even ticketed him in June and October for violating the city’s anti-noise ordinance, said Deputy City Atty. Vincent B. Sato.


Lahijaniha, who owns a second electronics store on Broadway, said this week that he has not played music outside his store since two officers removed his speakers several months ago. “They said, ‘You have very loud music,’ and they took my speakers, and I said, ‘No problem,’ ” Lahijaniha said. “Now we have no speakers out front, no music or noise.”

Lahijaniha said no one ever complained to him personally during his eight years of business in the Broadway area. And he speculated that some of the complaints police received may have come from competing merchants.

Sato acknowledged that Lahijaniha’s is not the only store to blast music and that the sales technique is an area problem.

“When one store does it, the others do it,” Sato said. “We’re trying to get others to comply. The Police Department has discretion (for enforcement) and he, unfortunately, happened to be the first person charged.”