A recent transient to Pacific Palisades, “Mike,” was arrested on Monday afternoon for robbery of a cell phone and transported to the Metropolitan Detention Center. His bail was set at $50,000.
Mike had recently started living near the Palisades Library, hanging out in the porch space, sitting in front of the library and joining another long-time transient “Ruby.” Both transients had been approached with help by the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness. Both refused assistance.
The two were often seen on the bench in front of the library, which adjoins the Palisades Rec Center and park. Three private elementary schools use the park, Corpus Christi, Village School and Seven Arrows.
The man, whom parents say has been screaming profanities at small children, was approached by the Corpus head of school on Thursday, who told him he was not to talk or scream at the children.
On Sunday, at the Village Green at Swarthmore and Antioch, across from the farmers market, Mike, starting threatening people with sharpened sticks.
A resident called 911 were called and five police cars responded.
Some residents were upset because Mike was not taken into custody on Sunday.
The Minnesota resident was not arrested then, because no one would press charges. A resident must be willing to go to court. Mike’s sticks were taken away.
The Commanding officer of the West Los Angeles Area Captain Jonathan Tom explained in a May 30 email to CTN that “the police cannot arrest for a crime that they do not witness and do not have witnesses or a victim for that crime.
“Even without a victim, the police can arrest for a crime, not committed in their presence, if a witness is willing to talk to the police and identify themselves so they can testify in court,” Tom said. “It is a fundamental part of the law that an accused person has the right to confront their accuser.”
It had also been reported that Mike has also shoplifted at Ralph’s late one night and threatened to throw rocks through their windows at the employees. Once again, people need to be willing to testify in court in order for the police to make an arrest.
Tom also wrote in an email that detectives will seek a “stay-away” order, but it is up to the District Attorney to pursue it and a judge to grant it.
I’m frightened about the homeless and the high risk of wildfires in our hills.