Drivers stuck on closed L.A. freeway turn road into poker casino


Hundreds of motorists were trapped for hours on a portion of the 5 Freeway near downtown Friday when it was shut down during rush hour as authorities tried to rescue a man standing on a ledge of an overpass. The man was later detained.

But a few came up with creative ways to pass the time, including a small group who set up a card table on the usually busy roadway.

"These people set up a poker table and suggested that people play Texas Hold 'Em with them," said Sarah Jung, of Los Feliz, who posted a photo on Instagram.

The freeway was shut down in both directions about 3:50 p.m. after a man was spotted on the ledge of an overpass, officials said. The man, who was not identified, was detained about 7:15 p.m. and taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Jung's boyfriend, Sun-Ho Pak, posted to Instagram a 15-second video, set to R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts," of himself getting out of his car, staring at the stalled traffic, shaking his head.

Jung's photo attracted far more attention, however, when someone else posted it on the Facebook page of KABC-TV Channel 7, with the caption, "The taco man set up shop."

The posting led to a flurry of social media tweets, with readers gushing over the purported ingenuity of a taco chef. Someone with the Twitter handle @acsqueaky said, "To the taco man that set up shop on the 5 freeway today when it was closed. #YouTheRealMVP."

"Some guy put up a taco stand while the freeway was closed #OnlyinLA," tweeted @loveebrunz.

Jung said she was surprised that her photo had become tied with tacos. The original Instagram post made no mention of them, and was tagged "#texasholdem anyone?"

"Everyone seems to think it was a taco stand," Jung said. "I would love to clear up the fact that it was a Texas Hold 'Em table and not a taco stand."