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Santa Monica Councilman Attacked by Homeless Man


A Santa Monica city councilman was attacked July 16 around 2:45 p.m. while walking along the Third Street Promenade, an outdoor dining and shopping street, with his wife after asking a man he believed to be homeless to pick up his trash.

“I asked him if he could pick up the trash and put it in a trash can … The trash can was literally six feet from him,” Phil Brock, who was elected in 2020, told The Epoch Times.

He said the man replied by yelling expletives at him, which he ignored and put the trash into the trash can for him.

“He came at me yelling and screaming. I told him nicely I am a Santa Monica councilmember. It would be good if you just walk away. … Instead, he kept yelling as I walked away,” he said.

The man then twice poured a sticky liquid on him and his wife, which Mr. Brock said may have been Gatorade.

Mr. Brock said at that point he called the police and began following the man who had begun to walk away.

A few minutes later as the two approached Santa Monica Boulevard, which runs perpendicular to the Promenade, the man grabbed his hat, according to Mr. Brock.

“When we got to Santa Monica Boulevard, I was wearing a white Adidas bucket hat to ward off the sun. He tried to grab the hat twice,” Mr. Brock said.

A shoving match ensued as Mr. Brock, who was born and raised in Santa Monica, attempted to get his hat back. Eventually, the man stumbled to the ground, where the 69-year-old councilman held him down.

“I ended up with my hand on his head trying to keep him down on the ground,” Mr. Brock said.

Epoch Times Photo
A police car is seen in Santa Monica, Calif. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

He said he successfully enlisted a passerby to get help from police stationed in a kiosk on the Promenade, who were later joined by multiple police patrol units.

According to Santa Monica Police Lt. Erika Aklufi, the man in the assault on Mr. Brock is 20 years old and believed to be homeless. He was booked for simple battery and grand theft on a person, before being released with a citation. He has a court date in August.

“In some ways, I’m glad it was me versus a sales clerk or a customer on the Promenade,” Mr. Brock said.

Mr. Brock ran, in part, on a campaign to reduce crime and restore public safety in Santa Monica.

“Between the cacophony of major crime, burglaries, assaults, and robberies the dream of Santa Monica has been lost. We must have city council members with backbone, who are firmly committed to restoring the soul and safety of our city,” he wrote in a campaign statement at the time, according to his campaign website.

Residents have taken to the microphone recently, with over a dozen complaining over safety concerns during a June 13 city council meeting.

John Farzam, co-owner of the Shore Hotel—located on Pacific Coast Highway near the Santa Monica Pier—told city councilors that hotel owners are losing reservations because of the city’s growing homelessness problem.

“I’m here this evening on behalf of several large hotel operators in Santa Monica to plead for your help in addressing what’s become an untenable situation of homelessness, crime, harassment, and filthy conditions on Ocean Avenue and Palisades Park,” he said during the meeting.

Another resident and homeowner Jack Levy said his wife and dog were spit on by a homeless man during a recent walk. He told the council to stop focusing on issues like banning plastic straws or increasing bike lanes until public safety is addressed.

“The Promenade, the library, they’ve turned into absolute hell holes. … Stop coddling homeless vagrants and [the] mentally ill. It’s not fair to people who pay taxes,” he said.



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