BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) --A 21-year-old man was hospitalized in critical condition after he was shocked by live wires on a public sidewalk in Boyle Heights.
Firefighters responded to the area near Boyle and 6th streets shortly after midnight on Wednesday following a report of a male being shocked from exposed wires at the base of a light pole.
The man, identified by family as Eddie V., was transported to Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was notified of the incident, fire officials said.
As of Friday, family members said Eddie remains hospitalized in critical condition.
According to family attorney Spencer Lucas, Eddie was with friends, trying to take photos of bridge construction in the area at the time of the incident. Lucas said it all happened in a matter of seconds.
"Eddie's foot came into contact with one of those high-voltage wires, and it lit him up, and he had a severe electrical shock from his toes all the way to his brain. And he falls down and collapses, of course, and lands on top of the high-voltage wires, suffering another electrical arching all the way through his body," Lucas described, adding that Eddie suffered brain and burn injuries.
However, the LADWP has a different version of events, saying in a statement that the entire incident "appears to be the result of attempted vandalism or copper wire theft and, according to reports, is being investigated by LAPD."
LADWP's entire statement reads:
"The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) received a report from LA Fire Department of a private citizen making contact with high voltage electrical equipment owned by the Los Angeles Department of Public Works Bureau of Street Lighting, located near the corner of Boyle Avenue and 6th Street in the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 1. LADWP Electric Trouble Crews responded to the scene. Based on reports received from the scene, this incident appears to be the result of attempted vandalism or copper wire theft and, according to reports, is being investigated by the LA Police Department. Injury or the loss of any life in the manner suspected in this incident is tragic and regrettable. Copper wire theft or vandalism involving light poles or electrical equipment is extremely dangerous."
The electrical box has since been covered and sealed with caulking to make sure that it is securely closed. But just a few feet away on the sidewalk, there appeared to be another hole in which some wires can be seen underneath.
Lucas places the blame on the city and the LADWP.