Co-Founder of ‘Santa Monica is Not Safe’ Movement Attacked by Homeless Man

Co-Founder of ‘Santa Monica is Not Safe’ Movement Attacked by Homeless Man

A sign sits on the display in front of a popular shopping area of Santa Monica, Calif., on Jan. 19, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

9/27/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

The co-founder of a group trying to bring attention to what it says are unsafe conditions in Santa Monica, California, due to homelessness and open-air drug use was attacked Sept. 19 by a homeless man in a park near the beach.
The incident took place at Pacific Palisades Park at 3:30 p.m. after John Alle, the co-founder with the Santa Monica Coalition, began using his phone to film a homeless man lying on the ground.
According to authorities, the man—34-year-old Tyler Jordan Keating—became agitated at the filming and struck Mr. Alle in the face, knocking him down, and stealing his phone.
Mr. Keating was arrested, according to authorities, on felony battery, robbery, and elder abuse charges, and was booked into Santa Monica Jail.
He is currently being held on $175,000 bail and is expected to appear Oct. 9 at the Los Angeles International Airport Superior Courthouse for a preliminary hearing, according to a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The District Attorney’s office is pursuing a felony charge of second-degree robbery, one count of battery with serious bodily injury, and one count of elder or dependent adult abuse and infliction of injury, according to a spokesperson.
A homeless encampment sits in front of luxury hotels in Santa Monica, Calif., on Jan. 27, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

A homeless encampment sits in front of luxury hotels in Santa Monica, Calif., on Jan. 27, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Mr. Keating pleaded not guilty last week to all charges.
In an article shortly after the attack, Mr. Alle told local online publication the Santa Monica Daily Press his jaw was broken in two places and he was knocked unconscious during the assault.
At the nearby Third Street Promenade, Mr. Alle has a sign displayed on his vacant storefront that reads “Santa Monica is Not Safe,” and earlier this year one of the city’s councilmen Phil Brock was attacked by a homeless man in front of the storefront.
During an interview with Epoch TV’s California Insider, Mr. Alle told the show’s host Siyamak Khorrami in July that his storefront was vacated earlier this year after a former tenant refused to continue their lease, citing safety concerns for workers and the homeless urinating on the property’s windows.
“My windows were being smashed every 60 days,” he said. “Residents are seeing it for themselves. Homeless in the alleys. They’re seeing dumpster fires, individuals defecating, shooting up heroin [and] crystal meth. ... Safety’s an issue, we hear all the time.”
One of the major contributors to Santa Monica’s growing homelessness, according to Mr. Alle, is the county’s needle distribution program that takes place in the city’s parks, which city councilors were unaware of until just last year when Mr. Alle began pressing the issue during council meetings.
“There was never any discussion. We never really talked about it in City Council meetings,“ City Councilman Oscar de la Torre told The Epoch Times in an interview, also in July. ”It’s never been agendized, so it was kind of a shocker for me to just hear that that was going on.”
A family uses a playground near a homeless man in Santa Monica, Calif., on June 2, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

A family uses a playground near a homeless man in Santa Monica, Calif., on June 2, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 72 percent of Santa Monica residents live in apartments, which Mr. Alle has previously mentioned as a key reason why the city’s parks are so important.
“We want it out of the parks. The parks belong to the people ... those are backyards for the residents,” he said during the California Insider episode.
In a Sept. 21 press release—the same day Santa Monica police announced Mr. Alle’s attack—the county’s public health department, which oversees the needle distribution program, announced a commitment to end the “overdose crisis.”
Officials said the overdose crisis is at an all-time high in Los Angeles County, with seven to eight individuals dying every day—half caused by fentanyl. As part of their “harm reduction” program, which includes needle distribution, the opioid reversal naloxone is also distributed, which can help reverse the effects of a fentanyl overdose.
A spokesperson for the county’s public health department in June said approximately 60 doses of naloxone were distributed each month, along with hygiene kits, tourniquets, alcohol swabs, cotton, sterile water, and bandaids at three of the city’s parks.
Officials from the department were not immediately available for updated figures.
“The fentanyl crisis is a tragedy of historic proportions. Illicit fentanyl is impacting all our communities and leading to the tragic deaths of thousands of our friends, family members, and loved ones,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Department of Public Health in the press release.
A homeless man in Santa Monica, Calif., on June 2, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

A homeless man in Santa Monica, Calif., on June 2, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

John Farzam, co-owner of the Shore Hotel—located on Pacific Coast Highway near the Santa Monica Pier—told Santa Monica officials during a June City Council meeting that hotel owners’ losses are stacking up because of the city’s growing homelessness problem.
“I’m here this evening on behalf of several large hotel operators in Santa Monica to plead for your help in addressing what’s become an untenable situation of homelessness, crime, harassment, and filthy conditions on Ocean Avenue and Palisades Park,” he said during the meeting.
Since March, over 15,000 Santa Monicans have, at the urging of a petition by Mr. Alle’s organization, which is a group of over 5,000 retail tenants and property owners, sent letters to the city, asking for the needle distribution program to be moved out of the city’s parks, saying it attracts homelessness, drives out business, and threatens public safety.
The group is asking the county to move the program indoors instead and ensure it is operated under medical supervision.
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

Author

Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

Author's Selected Articles
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.