(The June 30 letter was sent to Councilmember Mike Bonin and cc’d to Circling the News and the Westside Current.)
Just this week, we have had two more incidents in Westchester Park involving a dangerous homeless man approaching children.
A tennis patron told me on Tuesday that a homeless man with a blanket wrapped around him walked onto the tennis court at Westchester Park that day while a female tennis pro was giving lessons to four 12-year-old girls, and he started “talking about sexual things.”
He said “[A]ll these young girls want me to f*ck them. I keep telling them I’m homeless and I have nothing to offer and they want to f*ck me.” He continued talking like that while the tennis pro worked to get him off the court. The incident occurred at about 10:30 in the morning.
The man left after being confronted by the female tennis pro (former military), who basically backed him off the court. Reportedly, no call was made to police because, reportedly, when incidents like this have happened before, by the time police arrive the perpetrator has left, and nothing happens.
The man was described as being about 6’4″, with a full beard. He is Caucasian with some Arabic descent, perhaps. He is about 30 years of age. A witness said she had seen the same man in Santa Monica in the past, and he confronted her there.
On Tuesday, the very next day, a similar incident happened at about 4 p.m. It appears, based on description, that it involved the same man. This time he jumped over the fence (the short fence between the walkway and the tennis court) onto the court of a female tennis pro giving lessons to girls, saying he wanted to do something with one of the girls. The tennis pro called LAPD, and they responded quickly. However, by the time they arrived, he had run out the back entrance and was gone.
Just a couple weeks ago, a homeless woman confronted the woman who manages the tennis courts, who is 70+ years of age and who uses a walker.
The homeless woman screamed and yelled at the older woman for some time and grabbed the older woman’s clipboard. A female tennis pro who is former military ran the aid of the older woman and confronted the homeless woman and made her leave after a long confrontation. The homeless woman was found sleeping near the courts at about 7 a.m. a day or two later when the older woman went to work early.
Parents of children who play at the tennis courts are alarmed and frightened, as are members of our community. LAPD is taking this very seriously, but they do not have the sworn staff to post officers at the tennis courts during the hours the courts are open.
Once again, we demand security at the tennis courts, and at the other facilities at the park as well. There have been well over 100 incidents, and possibly several hundred incidents, involving homeless people exposing themselves to children, following children, harassing children, yelling at children, attacking children in the restrooms, injecting drugs in the presence of children, urinating on the tennis courts while children are on the courts, claiming that children at the park are their own and demanding that parents turn them over to the homeless person.
It amounts to reckless endangerment of the lives and safety of children for you to refuse to provide security for children’s activities at the park, while it is completely within your power and discretion to do so. These children are being subjected to danger.
Our community is outraged by the fact that you have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire full-time security for your office in the park and to fortify your office in the park with tall fences and cameras while ignoring the hundreds of requests for security for the children, and also for the seniors.
We, as a community, demand that you provide the same security for the tennis courts, the children’s playground, the recreation pool, the ballfields, and the senior center. We demand that this security be commenced immediately.