A man celebrating a different kind of independence--from clothing--pranced naked atop a concrete jetty in front of an exclusive beach club for about an hour Saturday, throwing rocks and drawing a huge crowd of wedding guests and beachgoers before police shot him with a Taser stun-gun when he refused to leave his perch.
The "pretty sunburned" man, who police said was a 38-year-old transient from Arizona, was taken from Will Rogers State Beach to a county medical facility for psychiatric evaluation and was not booked, said Los Angeles Police Sgt. Lee Bradford. Police were withholding his identity.
The incident, which drew a police helicopter and about 500 onlookers, including guests preparing for a wedding at the chic Bel-Air Bay Club, began late Saturday afternoon when the man walked out onto the jetty opposite the club and perched naked, occasionally shouting at people who came near, officials said.
"He was standing, and sitting, and someone, it looked like maybe the manager of the beach club, was trying to talk him down (but) he kept throwing rocks," said Royce Bell of Woodland Hills, who saw the incident.
As a crowd gathered, and wedding guests on the club's upstairs floor looked down at the scene, a helicopter swooped in, said Bell, and used speakers to warn the man not to throw anything.
The man "waved at the police helicopter with one finger, if you know what I mean," Bell said.
As a county lifeguard boat hovered a few yards away, the man eventually sat down "with his fingers in his ears," lifeguard Phil Topar said.
A policeman then shot the man in the back with a Taser gun, Bell said. The man toppled into the water and was pulled out by lifeguards who wrapped him in a shiny yellow blanket, Bell said.
This was the second naked man on the beach Saturday, said Topar: The other "was a drunk who couldn't get his clothes back on."