A stroll near Hollywood's popular Walk of Fame turned to a deadly stabbing Tuesday, when witnesses said a 23-year-old woman was attacked and killed after she refused to pay three men a dollar for a picture she took of them with cardboard signs.
The Los Angeles Times reported three men were arrested
in connection with the death of Christine Darlene Calderon.
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The three arrested men, described as transients, were arraigned in court Thursday.
Calderon, from the Los Angeles suburb of Lynwood, and a male co-worker were near the Walk of Fame around 8:30 p.m. when she saw three men displaying signs and asking for money, according to local television station KTLA.
Finding the signs amusing, Calderon took a photo with her cell phone.
One of the men demanded a dollar for the photo. When she refused, two of the men allegedly pinned her co-worker against walk while the third knocked Calderon to the pavement and jumped on top of her.
Police said Calderon suffered a stab wound to her mid-section, where she was bleeding badly.
Calderon was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she died three hours later, according to the Los Angeles Times. Police detained two men around midnight and a third several hours later.
"Her plan was to become an engineer," Calderon's mother Yolonde Tassin told the Los Angeles Times. "She didn't want to waste years. She wanted to get in there and do it right."
Calderon, who had a tumultuous relationship with her mother because of her drug and alcohol use, was just turning her life around and had enrolled at El Camino Community College just a few days ago.
Police stressed for tourists to be careful, especially around people who appear to be transients.
“Just be aware of your surroundings and be careful," Los Angeles Police officer Cleon Joseph told KTLA. "Generally, in my experience as a law enforcement officer, transients don’t like their pictures being taken. I’m not saying that’s a cause or reason for anything, but at the end of the day you need to be careful."
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