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Homeless Sex Offender Goes on Violent Rampage on Santa Monica Beach


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By Jorge Casuso

June 25, 2024 -- Santa Monica police arrested a homeless registered sex offender -- who was released from jail last month -- for attacking three women Monday morning during a "reign of terror" on the beach, police said.

Police officers arrest Jawann Dwayne Garnett
Police officers arrest Jawann Dwayne Garnett (From Santa Monica Closeup video by Fabian Lewkowicz)

Jawann Dwayne Garnett, 31, is accused of attacking a 17-year-old women near a life guard station, punching and biting a homeless woman who came to her rescue, then trying to drown a 77-year-old woman who was walking along the shore.

The attacks took place at around 9:40 a.m. near lifeguard tower 13, located between the Pier and the California Incline.

"One guy was responsible for this reign of terror," said Lt. Erika Aklufi, the Police Department spokeswoman. "It was horrible, absolutely horrible."

Garnett attacked the teenager who was near the lifeguard tower "minding her own business," Aklufi said. "A homeless woman thinks the girl is being robbed and jumps in" to help.

The suspect then "punches (the homeless woman) and bites her ear," Aklufi said. "She manages to get him off, and he goes after an elderly couple and grabs the woman in her seventies and holds her under the water."

"We're super excited this woman got involved," Aklufi said.

The woman, identified as Jenna Wilker by FOX 11 Los Angeles, told the station she met Garnett the night before and gave him a cigarette. She said he was looking for meth.

"He had no humanity in his eyes whatsoever," Wilker said.

In a Santa Monica Closeup video by Fabian Lewkowicz the elderly woman who was attacked says she was trying to find the necklace he ripped from her.

The YouTube video -- which was viewed more than 500,000 times in one day -- shows five police officers surrounding Garnett and arresting him by the water. They then escort him across the sand to a police vehicle stationed near the lifeguard tower.

According to Aklufi, Garnett was held in Los Angeles County jail for a sexual assault that took place in Van Nuys in 2021. He was convicted of the charges and sentenced in May to three months.

According to County records, he served less than one month after being given credit for the time he had spent in jail.

Santa Monica police first encountered Garnett on June 9, when he was arrested for failing to comply with his sex offender registration, Aklufi said.

"We had not seen or heard from him since," she said. "Then he popped up and did this."

Garnett was booked in Santa Monica Jail on two counts of attempted murder, one count of elder abuse and one count of assault on a bystander, police said.

SMPD is asking the LA District Attorney to charge Garnett on those counts Wednesday, when he is scheduled to be arraigned.

Santa Monica police have been increasing their presence on the beach for the summer, Aklufi said.

"Our deployment was already increasing," she said. "We will be focusing heavily on the beach."

Aklufi added that there's little officers can do to prevent an attack like the one on Monday. "All we can do is get there as quickly as possible."

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