Documenting the Impact of Homeless Addicts and the Severely Mentally Ill on the Community
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) reported that there were more that 2,700 arrests of homeless people for assault in 2018, and nearly 2,500 assault arrests in the first 9 months of 2019, just in the central LA region. More recent data has not been released.
A homeless man grabbed a knife from the kitchenware section in Target, and stabbed a 9-year-old boy who was shopping with his mom for a video game. A 25-year-old Korean flight attendant intervened to protect the boy and was herself stabbed. The attacker was shot dead by a store security guard. Both victims were hospitalized with serious injuries.
SEXUAL ASSAULTS & RAPES
A 44-year-old woman was walking her dogs late at night when Darrell Waters, a homeless man, tackled her from behind, punched her repeatedly in the face, and raped her. The victim's nose was broken in four places, cheekbone shattered, both jaws broken, and several teeth knocked out, requiring multiple surgeries.
The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) responds to more than 8,000 homeless-related fires a year. More than 50% of fires LAFD responds to are caused by homeless people, and in the downtown LA area 80% of fires are homeless-related.
A homeless man terrorized a LA neighborhood, setting fires and causing tens of thousands of dollars of damage in vandalism by cutting residents’ electrical and cable wires, breaking water pipes, and even climbing on roofs to destroy solar panels. Police refused to hold the vandal in custody because the crimes were misdemeanors.
The Skirball Fire burned 475 acres, destroyed six homes and damaged 12 others, caused the evacuation of nearly 700 homes and an apartment building, shut down the 405 Freeway for several hours, and required more than 250 schools as well as local colleges to close for several days. The fire was started by an illegal cooking fire at a homeless encampment.