A resident wrote Circling the News that a “couple of Palisades High School students” were robbed around 5 p.m. on March 21, in the alleyway next to the Methodist Church. According to the teens, a car with three black males stopped them and the driver said, “Give us all your shit.”
The students, who believed that one of the men was holding a handgun, gave up their phones, etc., and the suspects drove off. The students returned to the high school and called a parent, who drove them to the West L.A. Police station to file a report.
Circling the News contacted Senior Lead Officer Brian Espin and West L.A. Commander Captain Jonathan Tom.
Espin replied, “The students were hanging out in an alley in the area of Bowdoin and Via De La Paz. Suspect’s vehicle drove up and two suspects exited the vehicle and asked for property. Victims gave suspects property. Both suspects re-entered the vehicle and drove away. While the vehicle was driving away the victim observed the driver suspect in the vehicle with what appeared to be a gun in the suspect’s lap. The gun was not used during the incident, but was observed as the vehicle drove away.”
Espin said that he had been in contact with patrol officers and the beach patrol officers, who had been directed to be in the area (of the church) for extra patrol.
Tom said, “Due to the myriad of issues and complaints that Palisades residents have, we are being pulled in many different directions and cannot guarantee extra patrol on a regular basis based on the one incident. That being said, we will make sure that the assigned officers as available are spending time in that area after school for at least the next week.”
Circling the News explained to LAPD that the “alleyway” is heavily trafficked by pedestrians: preschool, elementary and high school kids, because Bowdoin Street dead ends in the church parking lot by a stairwell.
That stairwell connects Radcliffe and Haverford Streets with Via de la Paz and the Village.
In the mornings, that area is filled with parents dropping off children at the Methodist Preschool. Also, numerous parents walk older kids to either Palisades Elementary, located at the corner of Bowdoin and Via de la Paz, or to Village School at the corner of Swarthmore and Bowdoin.
The flow of pedestrian traffic returns in the afternoon, when Palisades High students access the stairs to go into town and to wait for the Metro and Big Blue buses.
Generally, the kids who take the late bus from PaliHi make a dash (around 5 p.m.) up to the Palisades Garden Café to eat before heading home.