Several Santa Monica Canyon residents heard a woman ranting and shouting last night (May 16). They called 311, but there was no response from the City.
This morning, when Judi Jensen went to check on the little library at Rustic Canyon Road and West Channel, she found a woman had thrown out all the books. When Jensen confronted her about what she had done, the woman threated to kill her and her dogs.
Jensen called 911, and when police didn’t respond immediately, she then reached out to fellow Canyon resident Sharon Kilbride, who is on the Pacific Palisades Task Force for Homelessness. Jensen thought the woman might be homeless.
Kilbride went to the site and tried to speak to the woman, who was hostile and cursed her out.
Kilbride told the woman she needed to put all of the books back. “I knew she wasn’t homeless,” said Kilbride, who spends hours volunteering with the homeless [and received a Citizen of the Year award in 2015 for her activism]. “I thought she was probably missing from her family. She just didn’t fit the pattern for being homeless.”
Initially, the more Kilbride tried to speak with her, the more agitated the woman became. Kilbride dialed 911 and asked for help. At the least, threatening to kill someone and destroying property are crimes.
Kilbride, worried that perhaps the woman had been reported as missing, continued to stay with the woman as she started to put some books back. After about an hour and no police response, Kilbride once again dialed 911, because the woman continued to be agitated.
“Neighbors would walk by and ask, ‘What happened here? Can we help pick up?’ and then the woman would throw a book at them,” Kilbride told Circling the News. She advised neighbors, “Just keep moving.”
Jimmy Kim from Apollo Security stopped by and told Kilbride he had just heard the 911 call. She explained that the woman might be a missing person. Kim asked the woman, who was now organizing the books, for her address. “She rattled off an address [in West L.A.],” Kilbride said, and he was able to get a phone number.
Kim called and reached the woman’s father, who said that his daughter was mentally ill and had not taken her meds for several days. He said he was on his way to pick her up.
About that time the police arrived, after having to deal with a 911 call about a domestic dispute in the Canyon.
The woman is now home with her family, thanks to Kilbride and Kim.
Why didn’t 911 work? When Kilbride called 911 a second time, she was told that the first call never went through.
“I think there’s something wrong,” Kilbride said. “I was initially connected to CHP [the California Highway Patrol], I told the story and then they said they were transferring it to West L.A. It just seems weird that it would go to CHP first.”
There were at least three calls made to 911, and initially when there was no response, Kilbride tried calling the West L.A. Police Station, which was not open, as well as texting the watch commander.
“Jimmy Kim is a hero here,” said Kilbride, who spent three hours of her Sunday morning helping a mentally ill person be reunited with the family.