Two homeless men were attacked with baseball bats and one of them critically injured, allegedly by teens inspired by videos of homeless people brawling that have sold hundreds of thousands of copies over the Internet.
The alleged attackers told officers they had recently seen the DVD “Bumfights” and wanted to do some “bum bashing” of their own, police Officer Jason Lee said.
The first victim told authorities he was attacked early Tuesday while sleeping on a sidewalk. About 90 minutes later, a private security guard saw two men beating another homeless man with a bat, police said.
William Orantes and Justin Brumfield, both 19, were arrested for investigation of attempted murder. Bail was set at $500,000 for each man.
One homeless man was treated and released after the attack, but the other, Ernest Adams, suffered severe head trauma and was in critical condition at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, Lee said.
More than 300,000 copies of the “Bumfights” DVDs were sold over the Internet, authorities said earlier this year. But its producers were charged with crimes related to the filmed fights, which the participants said they joined in exchange for money and alcohol.
Four men pleaded guilty in 2003 to misdemeanor conspiracy to stage illegal fights. Two later were jailed for six months because authorities said they did not perform their community service.
Adams was a well-known sight in downtown Los Angeles, acquaintances said. Leo Tolano, an outreach worker with the Downtown Center Business Improvement District, said transitional housing had been arranged for him but he refused to go because he feared the bad people he had spent time with in the past.
Robert Mallano, an associate justice on the U.S. Court of Appeals, said he saw Adams regularly while walking to work and would occasionally give him money even though Adams never asked for it.
“He would talk to people and smile. He was always polite and smiling,” Mallano said. “I never saw him in a black mood or anything. He was always groomed. He had dignity.”
“I read what happened to him in the paper, and I was just sick about it,” Mallano said.