INGLEWOOD – The city of Inglewood held a late afternoon press conference to address a body found in the lake outside of SoFi Stadium. The mayor and police chief appeared at the conference with only the mayor speaking and giving information about events alleged to be caught on surveillance which he admitted to never seeing.
“At about 6:01 a.m. a male hispanic, 45, unidentified entered the SoFi Stadium parking lot by trespassing at 6:03 security personnel called Inglewood Police Department and at 6:13 he was seen entering the man made lake and that was the last time he was seen above the water and at 6:21 SEB and LA County Fire were called and recovery was made around 9:48 this morning,” said the mayor. “We don’t know why he was on the property.”
The mayor then fielded questions.
“They have plenty of surveillance and basically what they saw was the gentleman entering from the Century side of the property and migrating his way towards the lake. Hopping a fence to get in that area, getting into the lake, and moving out to the middle of it,” said the mayor. There is no visible guard railing around the lake.
The mayor also referred to the man as “trespassing” in a perceived attempt to say the man caused his death by entering the area unauthorized. Taxpayers have paid for the infrastructure of the stadium and the roads leading into the property.
The security office is on the south side of the property, under YouTube theatre. This map of the property shows the proximity of the security office to the lake. Security typically patrols the property on golf carts.
“There were two security officers that came to the periphery of the lake after he was spotted on video but by that time he was already in the water,” said the mayor. “The lake is inside the property which is locked and security patrol the entirety of the property.”
This incident comes nearly six months after a fan was beaten in a parking lot, directly across from the lake, during the NFC Championship game played late January.
Daniel Luna, 40, was nearly beaten to death in Parking Lot L which is directly across from the lake. At the time, the mayor provided statements to the effect that he was only able to see about a minute of the footage.
“The video I saw was of them [Luna and others] standing around in the parking lot,” said the mayor at the time. The mayor acknowledged seeing the fight take place but questions surrounded why Luna wasn’t found sooner.
It took nearly four days for Hollywood Park, who manages the nearly 233 acre site, to even acknowledge the beating took place.
Regarding the incident of the man entering the lake the mayor commented he “doubted” they [Hollywood Park] would be releasing it.
The lake is between 15 and 20 feet deep with an intricate irrigation system that recycles the water. It is unknown whether a person entering the lake would be pulled into the system, like a person being pulled into a riptide while swimming in the ocean.
The mayor was photographed with Hollywood Park project manager Gerard McCallum at a groundbreaking ceremony the morning of July 6, most likely around the same time divers were searching the lake for the body.
Hollywood Park has been one of the mayor’s largest campaign donors over his three terms, and have already contributed towards his intended re-election. Hollywood Park has also pumped campaign cash into the coffers of the majority of current and past Inglewood elected officials including the city clerk. Campaign forms don’t show any payments to the city treasurer.
It is unclear why the mayor would make official statements on the death of someone without seeing the actual footage he was describing in great detail to the public.