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Councilmember Brock Attacked on The Promenade
By Jorge Casuso
July 17, 2023 -- Councilmember Phil Brock, a vocal supporter of boosting public safety efforts, was attacked on the Third Street Promenade Sunday afternoon by a man who appeared to be homeless, the Councilmember told The Lookout.
Brock was walking along the commercial strip with his girlfriend, Kathy, when he spotted a man tearing down posted signs from an empty storefront on the 1300 block of the Promenade.
The signs, said the building's owner, John Alle, asked passersby to sign a petition that has gathered nearly 15,000 online signatures to "get needles out of our parks and Promenade."
Brock said he asked the man nicely to throw the signs he had tossed on the ground into the garbage can and identified himself as a Councilmember.
"I took the signs and threw them in the trash can myself," Brock said. "As I walked away, he threw a bottle of soda. He doused me and he doused Kathy."
Both of them called 9-1-1. "They had a hard time hearing us because the man was yelling and screaming."
The man -- who Brock described as in his 20s and weighing about 250 pounds -- followed them. "He tried to grab my hat twice," Brock said. "The third time he got the hat" and said, "'It's my hat now f-----.'"
"I said I wanted my hat, and he pushed me two or three times." The two tussled and the man stumbled and went down, Brock said.
Brock was "on top of the guy for 20 to 30 seconds" when five squad cars arrived at the scene, he said.
"Santa Monica police were great at handcuffing him quickly and getting him into the police car."
The man was taken to SMPD jail and "booked for simple battery and grand theft person and was issued a citation per LA County bail rules," said Lt. Erika Aklufi, the Police Departments spokesperson.
"The individual in question refused to give us any address information," Aklufi said. "He appears to be experiencing homelessness.
"This is the first time that we have had a recorded contact with him," she said, adding that he has a court date in August.
Brock -- who said he has two swollen fingers from the altercation -- filed a police report and signed a citizens arrest form.
"A lot of residents are afraid (to sign the form) because they have to go to court," Brock said. "But we have to take ownership of the City."
Alle, whose three security cameras captured the incident, said a group came to his home in Santa Monica Canyon the same day and pounded on his door.
He and his family weren't home, but the visit was captured on his Ring doorbell camera, Alle said.
"It was orchestrated, but I don't know if it was connected," said Alle, who is a leader of the Santa Monica Coalition, a group of business and property owners concerned with the area's crime and homeless problem.
Alle -- who owns three properties on the Promenade -- said Sunday's unexpected visit wasn't the first time his home has been targeted.
"There have been drive-bys" where "they honk their horns" and yell for him to "stay out of Santa Monica."
The visitors have left "knives and needles and bags of s---" both at his home and in front of the empty storefront where the confrontation involving Brock took place.
Brock said he had a message for the perpetrator who tore the down the signs.
"Don't do that to our city," Brock said. "Don't do that to the Promenade. Don't litter my city."
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