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Band says night in jail was worth 101 stunt

A traffic nightmare on the 101 turned into a night in jail for a local band, but they say the publicity stunt was worth it.

October 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A traffic nightmare turned into a night in jail for a local hip-hop band on Tuesday. They pulled an apparent publicity stunt by blocking rush-hour traffic on the Hollywood (101) Freeway.The band says the stunt was in the name of a cause.

"The county jail is a tough place to be, but at the same time, it was all worth it to raise the awareness for the 1.5 million children out there," said band member Christopher Wright.

The band does not claim to be affiliated with any specific help group for children, but it does promote a new single, saying part of the proceeds will go to charities of the band's choice.

Thousands of motorists were not amused by the actions of the three members of Imperial Stars.

The band has a court date, and the investigation is widening. Others may be charged for helping cause the traffic tie-up that lasted an hour and 40 minutes.

The driver who parked the truck took off with someone in a getaway car and took the keys with him.

The band faces misdemeanor charges of unlawful assembly, disturbing the peace, willful resisting and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Police and fire department resources were diverted to arrest the band and clear the abandoned truck. The California Highway Patrol said public safety was jeopardized.

"It backs up our personnel units to respond to other more important issues," said CHP Officer Chris Baldonado.

The musicians' guitars were seized, the van is in an impound lot and the legal journey is just beginning. But band members say they are glad they did it.

"We would probably do it again, I'll be honest with you," Wright said. "What we're doing is trying to raise awareness."

Their first court date is set for Nov. 3.


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