To begin this story, it’s important that we define the word “Hangry.” Not everyone knows this word, which is a clever portmanteau of the words hungry and angry and is defined as “bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger.” It’s important to understand this word or else the following story won’t make much sense.
That said, even knowing the word hangry won’t help everyone to understand the reasoning behind this bizarre LA altercation. It starts with one very large, hangry man on a mission to get a hot dog outside a nightclub…
It was a weekend evening in downtown Los Angeles. This means that the streets were just as crowded and boisterous as they might have been earlier during the day, probably even more so. The incident in question occurred on the stretch of sidewalk right near Pershing Square just after midnight.
Hot Dog Stand
A large, cantankerous bearded man was standing in line at a sidewalk hot dog stand. By the tone of his voice and the manner in which he was speaking to the purveyor of said hot dogs, it was clear that the man was pretty darn hangry or drunk, possibly both. This is not an ideal combination, especially not at midnight.
Almost from the start, the man began bullying the hot dog vendor. He was angry that the man had the audacity to charge him six dollars for the street meat. The man tried to argue back, telling him that this was the posted price of the hot dogs, but the man wasn’t having any of it. Instead, he began boasting, saying things like, “I own the streets of LA.”
Waiting on Line
Behind the man stood two women. They too had been enjoying their night and felt the need to slake their hunger a bit after midnight. Unfortunately for them, this boisterous brute just happened to get on the line ahead of them. They tried to be nice, but the man wasn’t about to listen to them either.
They asked him to hurry up so that they could buy their own food and he ignored them. Then, another vendor stepped in and offered the man a free hot dog if he just stopped yelling at the vendor. Unfortunately, any attempts to diffuse the system were proving fruitless. Finally, one of the women had enough and stepped forward.
The brave woman told the man to leave the vendor alone and asked him what his problem was. He didn’t take kindly to it. The man turned and before anyone could do anything, immediately punched the woman in the face. The blow echoed around the sidewalk and she fell to the ground but the man wasn’t done yet.
The woman’s friend stepped forward to intervene and was herself punched by the hangry bearded man. When she tried to get up, he punched her again, then again. Each time he decked her, he lost a little steam. Meanwhile, the crowd around them had gathered to take in the whole bizarre scene.
All on Tape
One of those people also happened to have their camera on and had videotaped the whole thing. It was because of this soon-to-be-viral video that the world would eventually learn about the circumstances surrounding this altercation. It begins with the man in question throwing a woman in a white jacket to the ground.
The video then captures the moment he turns and punches a woman in a black shirt and black pants. He turns again and punches the woman in the white coat again, then wheels about to strike the woman in black once more. The final blow to the woman in black hits her square in the face and a second later, she falls completely unconscious.
Ups and Downs
Despite all their obvious pluck and the various ups and downs, both women fell to the brutish man’s allegedly drunken rage. He threw at least four punches in total, two at each woman, and then, before anyone could do anything else to intervene, fled off into the traffic towards Sixth Street.
Eventually, an ambulance was called and both women were taken to a nearby hospital. No one in the crowd of onlookers gave chase to the man, preferring to let the violent and still hangry fellow leave unencumbered. They probably didn’t want to risk angering him further. Considering he was about 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, that was a good idea.
The argument, not shown in the video, was the only clue that the police had that the incident had even occurred. That is until the owner of the video came forward and shared the video of the violent confrontation. In an effort to track down the assailant, the LAPD released the video on their website. Their hope was that someone would come forward.
Public Service Announcement
They release the video with an impassioned plea: “Attention Los Angeles – this guy brutally punched women at a hotdog stand on Jan. 26 in the area of 6th & Spring….If you have any info contact, Detective Gonzalez.”
In the meantime, the man’s two victims, one of them a nursing student, were both left with concussions. The nursing student also suffered bruises to her jaw. Thankfully, neither of the girls sustained any severe injuries and were released soon after. Now they just had to wait for the police to catch their assailant.
As it happened, the man himself was feeling a bit guilty about having punched out two innocent women or at least, we sure hope he was. In any case, it’s assumed that when he saw himself going viral on the Internet, he decided his only remaining option was to turn himself in before the LAPD eventually caught up to him.
The man was 30-year-old Arka Sangbarani Oroojian. It wasn’t until late the following Tuesday that he decided to turn himself into police custody. He was arraigned soon after and charged with felony assault. Yet as comforting as it is that he was now in custody, his actions and the video, still presented some issues.
The problems with the video were not logistical per se, but social. After all, the crowded LA street was full of people, men, and women, who could have stepped in to help the girls being pummeled by Oroojian. And while the whole incident did happen in a matter of seconds, it’s still pretty obvious that no one was going to intercede on the girls’ behalf.
Even more disheartening is the background noise of the video, which shows a number of likely inebriated parties laughing and cheering as Oroojian punched out the two women. It’s pretty indicative of our society that not only did people not help, but they also cheered for the criminal. Thankfully, he seems to be getting his just desserts.
Thus far, Oroojian’s story is far from over. Since his arrest, he made his $90,000 bail and was released, though he is due back in court on Feb. 22, 2019. It remains to be seen whether or not he will face any jail time for the assault, but there’s little chance he won’t be convicted thanks to the viral video.
As for the girls, they are still dealing with the fallout from the assault. Not the physical scars, but the emotional. “People were laughing and cheering, like as if it were a show,” explained the nursing student. “We can’t believe that nobody did anything.”