Two gay men were assaulted in WeHo’s Boystown district early Monday morning in the latest in what local residents claim are a series of attacks by young Hispanic men. The most recent complaint brings the total to two and possibly three assaults in the area last weekend.
Jason Schirle said he and a friend had left Revolver Video Bar and were in front of the carwash on the 8700 block of Santa Monica Boulevard around 2:30 a.m. when he felt someone put his hand in his pocket.
“I was thinking it was a joke,” Schirle said. “I turned around, and the minute I turned I was hit with a sucker punch. The next thing I knew there were two guys in front of me, one holding my arm down. The guy who had been hitting me began kicking me. The other guy went for my friend.”
“A few hits to the face, a few kicks to the ribs. I missed a few days at work,” Schirle said. “My friend got hit in the face pretty bad, but my impression is I got the worst of it.” Schirle said his friend did not want to be identified.
Schirle said he walked to the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station to report the attack and was met with “ambivalence” by the desk clerk.”I was kind of surprised I was met with a lot of ambivalence … I just kind of met with ‘what are you all about?’ ‘Why didn’t you call us?’ I was kind of met with this attitude of I was doing something wrong.”
Schirle said he had to wait for 30 minutes before a deputy would meet with him to take a report of the assault. He said that deputy, Christopher Landavazo, “was really accommodating, really nice. The guy was really professional, really patient.” In addition to his work as a Sheriff’s deputy, Landavazo was an unsuccessful candidate in the March election for West Hollywood City Council.
Schirle said that while he was waiting at the Sheriff’s Station to report the assault two other men came in to inquire about a friend who they said also had been assaulted that night and left in the alley behind Rage, the gay bar at 8911 Santa Monica Blvd. near San Vicente. Schirle said a deputy told the men that they likely were referring to someone who had been taken to the hospital but whose identity the Sheriff’s Department had not confirmed. In what may have been the same incident, Lt. David Smith of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station confirmed to WEHOville earlier today that four Hispanic men who appeared to be gay and intoxicated assaulted a Caucasian gay man on the corner of Santa Monica and San Vicente. That man was taken to the hospital. Schirle said a deputy told those at the station that that man had been seriously injured and that a CAT scan had been performed on him.
Another incident reported by a reader but which the Sheriff’s Station could not confirm involved an alleged altercation at the intersection of Spaulding and Lexington avenues around midnight on Memorial Day. The reader told WEHOville that three Hispanic men in their 20s approached another man and attempted to rob him, wielding a hammer.
Yet another incident occurred in December when two employees of Mickys, the West Hollywood gay bar and lounge, were assaulted early in the morning on Palm Avenue as they walked home from work. According to Sgt. Richard Bowman of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, four Hispanic men approached one of the young men in an apparent attempt to rob him. The other young man was stabbed when he intervened to try to help his friend. Area residents at the time said there had been several such attacks in the neighborhood.
Because of these incidents some local residents have called for changes in the way the city’s nightlife areas are patrolled. Ben Coleman, a public safety activist who manages the Keep WeHo Safe Facebook page, has noted that generally there are no more than two deputies on foot patrol in the Santa Monica Boulevard nightlife district between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. While West Hollywood is the smallest and most densely populated city in California, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department deputies who provide police services to the city generally patrol in cars rather walk than on the sidewalks. Coleman also has noted that deputies generally return to the Sheriff’s Station by 2 a.m. to file reports, meaning they aren’t on the street when bars in the area close and empty their intoxicated patrons on the street.
While the city’s Public Safety Department promotes WeHo as a safe place to visit, live and work, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has reported that the city’s rate of violent and property crimes last year was the highest of any of the 23 areas it patrols. The rate was 98 percent higher than that of the department’s South Los Angeles Station and 38 percent higher than that of its Compton Station.
It is difficult to chronicle crime in West Hollywood. While the city’s Public Safety Director alerts City Council members daily to crimes in the city, the city refuses to provide that information to the media unless it is requested under California’s Freedom of Information Act, at which point it is provided as much as 10 business days later. The local Sheriff’s Station does provide a monthly report to the city’s Public Safety Commission. However that report is not posted online as are other reports provided to bodies such as the Planning Commission and the Design Review Subcommittee so that it can be reviewed in advance by the public. Public Safety Commission members tbemselves generally do not see the report until they arrive at their monthly meeting.
Does this mean the gay people will start to worry about the mass immigration of third world people’s who do not see homosexuality in the same way as educated Westerners do. Or will they continue to support the importation of people who wish to do them harm?
@Ben Coleman’s statement
arent there also those blue shirted bike patrols?
Maybe if they took the report more quickly, the perps would still be in the area. These long waits allow them ample time to disappear after their rampages. GET ON THIS CAPTAIN….LIKE YESTERDAY!
If you sign up at spotcrime.com you can get daily emails of crime within a 1 mile radius of your home. It is astonishing to see daily crimes of robbery, assault, rape etc. that continue without any media coverage. There were 2 STRONG ARMED robberies by SMBl/LaBrea in 1 week in May alone. Rapes and attempted rapes happening frequently. Ive never even heard any Neighborhoo Watch group talk about these statistics and most neighbors dont even know someone pulled a gun on a neighbor unless they know the victim. I think if most residents of West Hollywood signed up for… Read more »
Let’s not make this a political rally for Officer Landavazo and his future campaigns. Landavazo did his job and took an incident report. He did not give CPR, deliver a newborn nor perform a life saving surgery at the Sheriff’s Department.
Landavazo is paid to sit at that desk and take incident reports. He did his job.
Thank you for the informative reporting and all the various comments of personal experience. As a former east-side resident on the Redevelopment PAC, we always had monthly (during the 2002-8 period I was there) crime stats by former Deputy Jim Farrell, who was a wonderful deputy and ambassador for the sheriff’s department. The other deputy with whom we had regular contact was Lt. Dave Smith, also a terrific representative for the department. While such stats made public might not be considered “good for business”, it certainly is helpful for residents to know what is going on in our neighborhoods. Our… Read more »
Christopher Landavazo prioritized public safety in his 2013 and 2015 campaigns. Not only is he on the streets keeping WeHo safe, as he was this evening (side note: he actually took the other gentleman to the hospital and stayed with him for four hours) but he also ethically ran to protect this city with policy changes and unfortunately was not supported. Keep an eye out for him. Support him in his next election. Current city council members are using his platforms from 2 years ago and this year to “bring new ideas” to the city. How about bringing Christopher Landavazo… Read more »
Where are the public safety ambassadors? I hate that Weho keeps everything quiet, even certain car wrecks. I see a mass of police and sirens at an intersection and then the next day I go to read what it is and there’s not a trace of news. The city has a LOT of work to do to keep crime low, and keep people safe. Our city is not huge, it should be monitored and protected way better than what it currently is. Everyone should feel safe.
It’s a sheriff’s station and not a fireHOUSE. The deputies are not hanging out in the station waiting for crime victims to walk in for reports. The deputies are out in the field responding to calls for service. If you call 911 to report an assault or robbery you will get an immediate an emergency response. If you wait and walk into a station, you are no longer in danger and can wait for a regular routine response from the deputies that are out in the field to drive back to the station to take your delayed and non emergency… Read more »
This is really horrifying on many levels. I’ve heard of and seen attacks happen on side streets, and while no violent crime is ever ok, this happens right on the main boulevard, at a prime time when the bars empty out and the streets are full of people walking home. Literally across the street from the sheriff’s station!! WTF It baffles me how no type of police force is around to stop this. I can’t even imagine how I would have reacted in this situation and I’m thankful it’s never happened to me, but reading this makes me feel totally… Read more »
It’s humiliating to be the victim of a senseless, violent act and the last thing a victim wants is a circus of attention that accompanies all the sirens. Obviously, he had an option here and chose what seemed to be the most appropriate and effective for him. Until you’re in a situation like this, don’t presume to know how you might respond. It’s completely shocking and traumatic.
kinda ridiculous that the sheriffs department is LITERALLY across the street from where all these attacks are happening. city council is a joke on helping residents and so is the police department who seem anti-gay more and more these days.. SAD indeed.
my friend reported violence against himself last year outside his apartment building and was met with ‘we don’t give a sh-t’ — i waited 45 minutes with him for someone to finally come out of that tinted window room and randomly take down a report from us. it’s a sad day in this once gay town.