The City of West Hollywood will offer a reward for information leading to the arrest of the assailants of Kirk Doffing on Memorial Day weekend.
City Manager Paul Arevalo told the Council last night that he will consult with Gary Honings, commander of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, and set an award. While Arevalo did state the amount of the award last night, in the past the city has offered an award of up to $25,000 in a similar incident.
Arevalo was encouraged to offer the award by Councilmember John D’Amico after several people spoke before the Council to complain that not enough is being done to find the what a witness has described as a group of four Hispanic men, one of whom actually assaulted Doffing.
The attack took place around 9 p.m. on May 24 near the intersection of Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards. Various sources have told WEHOville that the attackers were inside Rage bar and had an argument with Doffing. The dispute continued outside and Doffing was knocked down in the alley behind the bar, hitting his head on the pavement.
Doffing, 45, was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was put into a medically induced coma. Dr. Joel Aronowitz, a plastic surgeon who is Doffing’s boss, told the Council that Doffing was transferred yesterday to Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Los Angeles. Aronowitz said he did not believe that Doffing would recover.
Capt. Gary Honings, who heads the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, last night responded to criticism that the Sheriff’s Department hasn’t done enough to solve the case. He said work began on it the very next day, with Detective Michael Berbiar interviewing someone who claimed to have seen the attackers, one of whom was described as wearing a trench coat and having a moustache. Honings said his staff has done a sketch of suspect, based on information provided by the witness. Sheriff’s Lt. David Smith told WEHOville the sketch needs more work but when it is complete it will be made public. Honings said Berbiar also has reviewed videos from businesses in the area where the men might have been. But he said the investigation has been difficult because of the lack of witnesses and other information. Honings said detectives have posted fliers seeking witnesses. Friends of Doffing posted the most obvious of them during Sunday’s Gay Pride Parade along Santa Monica Boulevard.
“Our reality is we have had to work on really zero information,” Honings said.
Robert Burke, chair of the city’s Public Safety Commission, asked the Council to consider taking steps to improve safety in the Boystown gay nightlife neighborhood, which is where Doffing was assaulted. Burke said the city should consider better lighting, installing security cameras and increase its Block by Block bicycle security patrols.
The assault of Doffing on Sunday was one of two and possibly three incidents in the area that holiday weekend, where residents have complained about others in the past few months.
Honings asked that anyone with information about the assailants contact the Sheriff’s Station’s watch commander and Detective Berbiar at (310) 855-8850.