Man Suffers Broken Clavicle & Nose In Violent Hollywood Carjacking
An L.A.-based photographer is now suffering from a broken clavicle and nose after a man knocked him out in Hollywood before stealing his car and camera. And the attacker is still out there.
Perhansa Skallerup, a 29-year-old freelance photographer who also shoots for LAist, was attacked shortly after he was returning home from a concert, where he was shooting photos. He had just parked his car on Wilton Place near Hollywood Boulevard at about 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 20. Skallerup told LAist that his hands were full when he got out of his car, and a man approached him while he was standing by the driver's side door.
The man began asking him questions. At first it sounded like he was asking for money, but then he told Skallerup that if he gave him a ride to Union Station then he would give him $50. Skallerup said no. At this point, Skallerup felt uncomfortable and tried to avoid him, walking over to the passenger-side door of his car to grab his camera.
"I just wanted him to go away," Skallerup said. "I didn't know what to say. I didn't want to antagonize him."
Skallerup turned his back for a moment and that's the last thing he remembers before waking up to police and paramedics standing around him. His car and camera were gone, and his pockets emptied.
There was a bystander who called police after he was attacked. Skallerup believes the witness was in his van at the time, parking his car. From what Skallerup has been able to piece together from what police and the bystander have told him, the attacker knocked him out from behind, though he's not sure if it was with his fist or a weapon. He fell to the ground, and believes that's when the attacker kicked him in the face. Then he fell unconscious. When police asked Skallerup for his ID, he reached into his pockets and found them empty, realizing that the man must have taken his wallet, phone and car keys. The bystander told authorities that he saw the man take off in Skallerup's car.
An ambulance rushed Skallerup to Kaiser Permanente hospital. He suffers from a concussion and broken nose, his clavicle is broken three places and he has a bad gash on his right hand, something he believes he got when he braced himself with his right hand during the fall. He has a big bump on the back of his head, and though his teeth didn't break, they're now chipped and jagged.
Skallerup said he didn't drink at all that night when he was attacked, but was just tired from the day, and maybe wasn't as alert as he could have been.
LAPD's Robbery Division told him that they found his car, though an arrest has not been made. Skallerup described the attacker as a black man in his 30s to 40s, standing at about 5'11" and having a stocky build. He has short cropped hair. At the time of the attack, he was wearing a baseball or trucker cap and an old and baggy, brown jacket with cracked leather with patches on it.
Skallerup has since launched a GoFundMe to raise money to help pay for his medical expenses and a camera to replace the one that was stolen. Police told him that it was unlikely he would get his camera back.
"As a relatively young freelancer my insurance for both my body and possessions is inadequate...," Skallerup writes on his GoFundMe. "This attack has left me physically unable to work and has stripped me of the necessary tools of my business I had worked hard for and struggled to afford. Thanks to my family, my immediate needs are being met. However the true cost of my ordeal will not be realized until later."
Since his clavicle was broken on the right side of his body and his right hand is the trigger finger for his camera, it's going to take some time before he'll be able to shoot again. He said it's difficult to lift a glass of water with his right hand, let alone a camera. But he's hoping he'll gain some muscle movement in about four to six weeks. He's starting to feel a little better day by day.
Skallerup said he always wanted to shoot pictures: even when he was in middle school, he told his teacher that he wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic. "You know that saying, 'If you do what you love you'll never work a day in your life?' The photography thing is that thing I found," Skallerup said.
If you'd like to donate to Skallerup's GoFundMe, visit the website here.
Eds. note: An earlier version of this story said that the attack happened in East Hollywood, but it was in Hollywood. We've since corrected it.