Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Three Violent Incidents Against Tourists in One Evening in Santa Methica

Summary: this is pretty ugly stuff. About as ugly as it gets.

I'm always thinking about the next topics to address in my periodic submissions to the Observer. Upcoming candidates include the insanity of the road diet, the hulking, creepy "The People Concern" campus on Cloverfield, and the ridiculous and unacceptable amount of emergency vehicle siren/air horns noise in Mid City. Look for those submissions soon.

Monday night, Sept. 18, I took a walk downtown for the first time in weeks. Those walks commonly provide me with ideas to be explored. Monday night I hit the topics jackpot. I was not to be disappointed. To wit:

Walking north around the middle of the Promenade, I saw four people, visitors from Las Vegas and Mexico, running southbound, pursuing and filming a homeless vagrant type. I joined the pursuit and asked if he had stolen something. They told me in broken English that he had hit one of the women in the head, sucker punched her. That put gas in my tank. I'm 67 but caught up with the guy at Broadway between 3rd and 2nd. Just yelling at him loudly and authoritatively seemed to put him off balance. Sort of cornering him, while keeping a distance, I demanded his name, which he said was "David". The rest was incoherent. The guy was addled and obviously drugged. Shortly, (to their credit, it was fast) at least four police vehicles roared up from the east, lights flashing. As I watched, agape, they screeched dramatically to a halt and via bullhorn ordered him to drop. He did so, squarely in the middle of the Broadway traffic lane, in a strangely efficient and practiced manner which suggested that this was not his first rodeo at that; flopped down and went completely docile, motionless. They cuffed him and sat him on the curb. It was all quite a spectacle for the residents and tourists to take in.

Chuckling, thinking that would make for a good Observer story, I resumed my walk north on the Promenade, when I saw cops interviewing an older man on the Barney's Beanery patio. On the way back south I thought I would ask him if perhaps there was some relation to the sucker punch incident. Turns out, there was. He, a visitor from Edmonton, Canada, was minding his business enjoying a drink at Barney's with his daughter Michelle, who lives here, when the guy sucker punched an Asian woman visitor from New York, who was still standing nearby, obviously shaken up, talking on a phone, apparently relating the incident to a loved one or friend. The Canadian got involved when the perp swung at HIM. Canadian threw beer in his face, and perp left.

I mentioned to this visitor the original incident I had just seen, but the details didn't jive. I was confused. Further discussion revealed that this was a second, entirely separate incident.

OK. Walking back to my car in the Broadway garage, I saw yet more flashing lights and cops by the Tesla store. Asked them if there was any relationship to the homeless guy incidents and cop replied in the affirmative. Three female visitors, this time from Singapore, were sitting down, again, quite shaken up. The oldest lady had an ice pack or similar compress against the back of her head, where she had apparently taken a blow from the perp. There may have been blood drawn, though I didn't actually see blood. I apologized to these visitors on behalf of the people of Santa Methica.

Summary: this is pretty ugly stuff. About as ugly as it gets. The City Council's, DTSM's, Misti Kerns' (SM Travel and Tourism), SM Chamber of Commerce's worst nightmare. The mayhem, innocents, worse, VISITORS from not only out of state, but out of country, being sucker punched by vagrants, fits perfectly into John Alle's and The Santa Monica Coalition's recent narrative of what has become of downtown Santa Methica under the "leadership" of Gleam Davis, Jesse Zwick, Caroline Torosis, David White, Rick Cole, Sue Himmelrich, Kevin McKeown and all the other forgettables of recent decades. Is it any wonder that Lonely Planet travel guides suggested of Santa Methica "give it a skip" on any L.A. itinerary?

Don't expect to read about this night of mayhem and violence anytime soon, in either the SM Daily Press, or that "Seascape" rag, that useless Santa Methica propaganda publication funded with tax dollars. Is it still even being published? Haven't seen for a while? The last issue now lining the bottom of a parrot cage?

In the course of a statement I made at a DTSM (Downtown Santa Methica) meeting some months back, I mentioned that I always carried a yellow box cutter with me when walking downtown, for safety. You could just see the DTSM board members, and attendees Gleam Davis/Jerry Rubin, cringing, as I spoke. Last night, I came near having to use it. But, alas, on this particular night, I had unfortunately left it at home.


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