In between refereeing soccer games at the historic Belmar Park on Sunday, November 5, this editor called 911.
The Park is 3.5-acres, but the centerpiece is a large artificial turf field, which is located across from Santa Monica High School on 4th Street.
The field is fenced in, and kids as young as eight years old accompanied by parents and relatives, were coming for games on the field.
Waiting for my third game, which started around noon, I was in the far corner under the trees at 4th and Pico. A loud argument filled with expletives erupted. I looked over the bushes and saw a skinny white male, in his thirties, shouting and gesturing at a black male, probably in his 50s. They were located under some palm trees and near some bushes that frame the park.
The white male was telling the black guy to get away from there, that it was his place. The black guy, who was carrying bags wasn’t moving. The argument escalated and then the white guy pulled a knife and threatened the other guy, who stopped his motion. The skinny guy kept brandishing the knife until the black guy backed up and went towards a bus stop.
I called 911, gave my name, told them what I saw, and police were sent.
Once they arrived, the guy was handcuffed.
Later I found out, that the police, who were great, did find the knife. They also discovered the guy had nunchucks. That martial weapon is illegal in California, because the sticks can reach high speeds and can strike an object with tremendous force. (Some of the injuries nunchucks can cause include, broken bones, cuts, concussions, eye and nose injuries, bruises.)
Later a police officer took my information and told me the guy had swastika tattoo on the back of his neck.
Then it was back on the field for two more games. As I was finishing the final one, I saw the guy that had been taken away, was back at the corner of the street at 4th and Pico. Maybe booked and released?
Threatening someone with a knife, especially if it’s another transient, means that person couldn’t or wouldn’t press charges? I don’t know.
I do know that after my game, I walked the long way around, because I didn’t want to walk by the transient.
And I do know that I called 911 initially because I was concerned for the kids who were coming on the field to play soccer, their parents, and yes, even the homeless man, who was initially threatened.