A tragic and horrific scene unfolded Wednesday morning when police arrived in an East Hollywood neighborhood to find a man impaled on a fence.
The grisly investigation that followed determined the man became impaled on the fence after accidentally falling from a tree, reports KTLA News.
Whether the man simply fell out of the tree and became impaled on the fence, or a branch he was sitting on broke, wasn't clear, but the man had been drinking and one investigating officer likened the horrible scene to something out of a Hollywood horror film.
"It looked like a Hollywood scene staged," the Los Angeles Police Department's Sgt. Melvin Gamble told the Los Angeles Times. "He was impaled on the fence and couldn't get off of it."
Police had been called to the scene by a nearby resident who reported a prowler, but it turned out to be the man impaled on a "pointy" fence below the tree where he'd been drinking, reportedly in front of his own home.
"Over the years, you see stuff like this," said Gamble. "You still don't get used to it."
It's believed the man had climbed up in the tree to drink beer, and possibly retrieve a jacket, before falling and being impaled by the fence, as evidenced by several empty beer cans found below the tree. The man also drank routinely in the area, according to neighbors, and police had issued him several past citations as a result.
The grisly scene police found when they arrived around 3:30 in the morning, reportedly saw the man in a standing position, the fence having impaled him through his neck and face. Making it worse, by the way the man's hands were found, it appeared he had been trying to hold himself up, or push himself off the fence, though it's unknown when he actually fell.
Internal bleeding is believed to be the ultimate cause of death, following the man's fall onto the fence, according to investigators, with little blood being found externally around the impaled victim.
While the beer cans and history of the man's drinking point toward intoxication being a big factor in his horrible death, any actual level of intoxication remains unknown.
"I think there was a party earlier at the house that evening," said L.A.P.D. Captain Brian Pratt. "(But we are) unable to determine any type of level of intoxication at this time."
The man impaled on the fence was later identified as Edwin Ochoa, 30, by an official from the Los Angeles County coroner's office.
[Image credit, KTLA 5 News]