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 Entertainment Archive 2017

Curb Your Enthusiasm helped to free an
innocent man
by Nathan'ette Burdine: September 4, 2017

Although Larry David doesn’t want folks thinking he’s Batman and will come in and save the day, he did manage to save the life of a man, Juan Catalan, who was on his way to the death table at one of California’s "finest" institutions.

Juan Catalan and his 6-year-old daughter were at the LA Dodgers stadium watching the game on the same day that Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm film crew was there.

The episode the crew was filming is titled “The Car Pool Lane.” It is about Larry David getting himself in all kinds of trouble from the country club, the courthouse, to the Dodgers stadium.

After the game, Catalan and his daughter made it back home where he soon found himself face down, in handcuffs, surrounded by several burly looking swat team members.

Catalan’s crime? According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Catalan was guilty of murdering a 16-year-old girl named Martha Puebla.

Martha Puebla had testified against Juan Catalan’s brother, Mario Catalan, in a case involving a gang shooting.

It is believed that her death was the result of her testimony. The only problem is that Juan Catalan wasn’t there when Martha Puebla was murdered. Catalan was sitting at the LA Dodgers game with his 6-year-old daughter and 55,998 other people. He even had the tickets to show it, but the prosecutors weren’t hearing any of that.

As far as they were concerned, Juan Catalan was guilty by association. He had the unfortunate fate of being born to the same parents as his alleged gangster brother, Mario Catalan. And for the prosecutors that was enough for them to be like to Juan Catalan, “Aha! Yo’ ass is guilty!”

The prosecutors were so gung-ho on sending Catalan to the pokey that they told him he could either take the sweet deal of life in prison or get on that death table after the jury found him guilty of murder.

Catalan was like, “Nah, I rather be judged by nine than carried by six.” And the prosecutors were like, “Ok. To trial you go.”

Boooyyy, ol’ Catalan was really in a pickle there. It really did look like it was shitzville for him.

But low and behold, those wheels started turning and Catalan started remembering. And what he remembered is that Larry David and his Curb Your Enthusiasm crew were at the stadium filming on the day he and his daughter went to the Dodgers’ game.

Catalan told his lawyer, Todd Melnick, about the film crew. Melnick called the LA Dodgers who then got him in touch with the folks over there at Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Melnick told them about his client’s shit-uation and they were like, “Ok, we’ll help. Here’s the tape.”

Melnick set down, rolled up his sleeves and looked at approximately “20 minutes” of film before he found Catalan sitting there, amongst 55,999 people.

HOT DAMN!!! GOOD NEWS! GOOD NEWS! Catalan’s lawyer got the tape and showed it to the prosecutors.

The city had to open up the jail doors and the city’s wallet, $320,000 to be exact, to Juan Catalan for what they had done to him.

Longshot is the title of the film that tells Juan Catalan’s story. It is being shown at the Telluride Film Festival today and will air on Netflix on September 29, 2017.

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