A 240-pound brass weight swinging at the end of a 40-foot wire crashed into the pit of Griffith Observatory's giant pendulum when a disgruntled visitor grabbed it and hung on, police said today.
"It was a very dangerous thing to do," said Dr. Edwin Krupp, director of the Griffith Park Observatory. "He's very lucky to be alive, in my view."
Airman 1st Class Michael John Olivas, 22, was placed under arrest Wednesday night by an unidentified person and turned over to Los Angeles Police Department detectives, who booked him on a charge of vandalism.
The trouble started, Krupp said, shortly before 10 p.m., when a group of late arrivals were denied admission to the observatory's laser light show programmed to the rock music of Led Zeppelin and "started becoming abusive."