Following up on Hexodus’ earlier post, when I first heard Saturday evening of the alleged demise of the flamboyant Silver Lake local known as “El Circo Loco,” I didn’t want to believe it. Attempts to contact the originator of the news were unsuccessful so I resorted to the ever-helpful LAFD Spokesman Brian Humphrey (LAFD News & Information) who pointed me in the right direction, namely to the LA County Department of the Coroner. I wrote its public information office yesterday with the few bits of information I had. This morning I received the following reply from Chief Coroner Investigator Craig R. Harvey:
After some screening, I believe I found the case you are inquiring about. The decedent’s name is Antonio Ruiz, age 44. We list no permanent address for him. He did have family in the local area. He was found dead on the sidewalk of Golden Gate Avenue in Los Angeles on 04/22/2006 @ 0930 hours.
As to the cause of death, Harvey stated that he was examined on April 24 and a determination has been deferred pending the results of additional tests ordered by the deputy medical examiner. He also provided me with the East Los Angeles mortuary that his family has selected to handle his remains, In contacting the funeral home a few minutes ago I was told there was a question mark by Antonio’s name indicating his family had yet to decide whether to hold a memorial or not and that I should check back in a few hours. I’ll update this post with whatever information I’m provide then.
I personally hope Antonio’s family decides in favor of a service because I’d like the chance to tell them how much he enriched me and my neighborhood with the decidedly different drumbeat to which he danced and paraded. I’d want them to know how much I appreciated all the color and whimsy he brought to his stretch of Sunset Boulevard, and how heartbroken I am that it’s gone now. Most of all I’d just like to be there to remember Antonio and to wish him a peaceful journey onward.
UPDATE (2:56 p.m.): A spokesperson at the mortuary told me that his next of kin have elected to forego a memorial service and instead are moving ahead with arrangements to transport his body out of the country for burial.