Photo by AP Photo/Richard Vogel
Ah, the American highway. A place where one can cruise with the windows down, crank up the tunes, and see things like naked men on ATVs, cats surfing on minivans, and even a person clinging to life on the hood of a car while talking on their cellphone. And Wednesday in LA was no exception, when a guy in nothing but his underwear climbed to the top of a freeway exit sign, causing a massive traffic jam until authorities managed to coax him to the ground.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the man somehow managed to scale the exit sign on Route 101 at around 8 AM, leading authorities to halt all the cars heading into downtown LA during rush hour. After unfurling a few painted banners, one that featured the name "Dephree" and others that called for the need to "fight pollution," witnesses said the dude started rapping and screaming about God through a bullhorn. When he wasn't shouting or dancing, he reportedly took breaks to vape.
At around 10 AM, cops finally managed to get him down from the freeway, placing a massive inflatable cushion beneath the overpass. It was then that the man deployed one final trick: backflipping into the mattress before authorities on the ground took him away.
While the identity of the man hasn't been confirmed, reporters for the LA Times have speculated on Twitter that he might be a rapper by the name of Dephree, who's made a few music videos wearing the same boxer brief uniform around LA.It's not clear if the stunt was meant as an act of protest, or just a publicity stunt to drum up views online. Whatever the motive, the man was successful at one thing: bringing LA traffic to a two-hour standstill, and ostensibly making some commuters very late for work. Between people scaling highway signs and subway terminals literally crumbling to the ground, it's no wonder people are looking for alternative modes of transportation.Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.Follow Lauren Messman on Twitter.