There were screams and then a woman was sobbing, saying, “He took my dog. He took my dog.”
The woman said the man came into her van, hit her and hit her friend – another woman, threatened them with a gun and then took the woman’s chihuahua and left.
This happened a little after 10 a.m. today on Jefferson Boulevard between Lincoln and Culver. One lane of Jefferson had been blocked off for a homeless encampment cleanup. A Department of Transportation official called 911, as CTN listened.
This editor had been tipped off that the cleanup was underway, involving the line of RV’s and vans parked for months along Jefferson, next to the environmentally sensitive Ballona Wetlands. I had walked over by the van when the screaming started.
The woman who lives in her van said her door was opened (to let in the sun and fresh air), but the man just burst in. She said the man had also tried to take another person’s dog, but that owner, a man, had told him to “get the f*ck out of here.” So, the bad guy came into her van.
She said that she had found the dog, after it had been abandoned, and that gradually she had nursed it back to health. As she related the story, an older model black Chevy Impala, without license plates, drove by and she shouted, “That’s him! The dog is in the back seat.”
It was now about 10:30 a.m. and the LAPD had not yet responded, so CTN called 911 and related the story and was told that police would arrive soon. The first car arrived five minutes later, followed by a second car five minutes later.
Jamie Paige, editor of Westside Current and a Venice resident, explained that unless the incident was reported as a crime in progress, it would not move up to Code 3. A Code 3 means LAPD shows up immediately with lights and sirens. LAPD responded as Code 2 because the caller said the suspect had left the scene.
Upon further investigation, the suspect was found and told LAPD that the woman had stolen the chihuahua from him.
LAPD can’t do anything further, unless the woman files a police report for assault and threatening with a weapon or if the suspect files that the woman stole the dog from him.
THE BALLONA WETLANDS/JEFFERSON CLEANUP
Neighbors, birdwatchers and environmentalists have decried the illegal parking of RVs and other vehicles along Jefferson, adjacent to the Ballona Wetlands. There are no facilities for camping, no place for greywater, no restrooms. The signs say “No Parking.”
This is an unique wetlands, a mix of saltwater and freshwater, and provides shelter and resting areas for more than one-third of the country’s threatened and endangered species, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
CTN has written to state Senator Ben Allen and Assemblymember Autumn Burke about the degradation, and in October, Allen responded: “I remain concerned by the increase in debris and trash at the Ballona Wetlands. My staff and I have been working extensively with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to ensure they are up to date on areas in need of additional attention.
“We happily welcome the public’s help and input in alerting us to areas of state property needing cleanup so we can notify the proper agencies in Los Angeles. We will continue to work with all relevant jurisdictions in search of long-term solutions that protect the reserve’s ecological treasures.”
When CTN received news this morning that there would be a cleanup, we hoped that perhaps the RVs would be moved, and a real cleanup of the roadway would take place.
Unfortunately, this cleanup was not for the roadway, but a “spot” cleanup for the “front yards” of the RV’s. People who illegally park along the roadway have taken over the walkway between the road and the park, adding structures and strewing garbage.
The notice alerted those people, living illegally, that the City would begin cleaning at 6 a.m. and be done by 5 p.m. and that “property left behind will be collected and kept by the City for a period of 90 days.”
Many of the occupants simply picked up their stuff on the parkway and moved it to the road.
As CTN watched, L.A. Sanitation picked up jugs of urine, needles and other drug paraphernalia. It appeared that one car parked along the road was in the middle of an oil change, and a bus had tubes draining into a bucket beneath it.
We asked L.A. Sanitation about cleaning the road and were told that this is not their department. That would be the Department of Transportation, which would be needed to move the vehicles so that the road can be cleaned.
A wood structure had been built at the corner of Jefferson and Lincoln, hidden in the bushes next to Ballona. Nice real estate—hope there’s a fire extinguisher handy.