Combat at Hollywood and Vine

Los Angeles gangs take a low ride on the wild side

Midnight, Saturday, at Hollywood and Vine. The bizarre cast is pure Fellini, the volatile and menacing atmosphere is classic Clint Eastwood. The trouble is, the scene is real.

A police helicopter churns overhead, searchlight sweeping over the melee below. For a mile east and a mile west, six lanes of traffic move in caravan, a rolling cacophony of full-blast stereos rising above a cross-lane exchange of insults, come-ons and general greetings. Along the sidewalk—the famous chocolate terrazzo sidewalk embedded with bronze-edged stars framing...

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