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The Smell's Homeless Security Guard Sentenced To Prison For Nearly 1.5 Years

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The Smell (Photo by shredded77 via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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A 44-year-old homeless man who has long served as the unofficial security guard for The Smell has been sentenced to 486 days in prison for making criminal threats.

Daniel Wright-Fresco, who's known for keeping pan handlers away from the downtown DIY venue and walking patrons to their cars, was arrested on February 19 after an argument with an employee at a neighboring used car dealership, reports LA Weekly. When Wright-Fresco opened a door for a customer there, the dealership's employee Ignacio Nava told him to leave.

That's when things got heated, according to Nava, who says Wright-Fresco then yelled out to him, "Motherfucker, you want to know what it's like to fuck with a Salvadorian?" Then Wright-Fresco flashed his knife that was tucked under his clothing at Nava.

The Weekly says that Wright-Fresco accepted a plea deal before his trial on Friday and was then sentenced to prison.

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The Smell's owner has been supportive of Wright-Fresco since his arrest and had been posting regular updates on the venue's Facebook page on the status of his trial, and asking for attorney recommendations and positive testimonials on him from patrons for his defense.

Alina Nguyen, who works for the apparel store The Hundreds, wrote about her experience with Wright-Fresco:

He walked me and my friends to our cars a few times, claiming that he was a cop working undercover and would protect us, since it’s so close to Skid Row. This act of kindness, was, of course, usually followed by his requesting what he called a “tip.” I remember dwelling on that the first time he said it. He never called it ”change”-only tips. It became clear to me that this was work for him. Whether he really considered himself our security guard or whether he was just clever enough to leverage the position-this form of employment-doesn’t really matter to me. He never asked for change.

She added some stories from other patrons as well:

“Once I was at a Monotonics show at The Smell and the band moved their entire drum set in to the center of the room,” shares Moses Campbell’s frontman Sean Solomon. “Kids were moshing and could have easily smashed their head into a cymbal or guitar, but Daniel came in and put his arms out and blocked kids from falling into the band. No one else would do that. I don’t even think you can even legally pay someone to do that. That’s why Daniel is the best.”