Woman Arrested With a Knife at Venice Beach News Conference Held by Councilman
Photo by Scott Jones via Unsplash
A woman was arrested on the evening of June 7 during a Venice Beach news conference where Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscanio addressed the Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis and public safety. Reports show a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) captain was cut by the knife while assisting Buscaino’s private security team in detaining the woman.
The woman was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. Her name wasn’t immediately released but several people at the event said she lived on the boardwalk and called herself Angel, the Los Angeles Times reported.
It was also reported that prior to the incident, Buscaino began shaking hands with the roughly 75 to 100 constituents who had come out to listen.
LAPD officer Lizeth Lomeli told Scriberr News the woman was arrested June 8 at 7:50 p.m. in Ocean Front, California. Since the arrest, the woman has been identified as Alaia Smith.
Smith was arrested on suspicion of carrying a concealed dirk or dagger. LAPD’s public information office said if charged and convicted of the misdemeanor, Smith will face up to a year in county jail.
The woman was originally spotted standing behind Buscaino, who had just urged a citywide crackdown on tents in parks, beaches and sidewalks.
“Our city has devolved into a place where chaos is common … people tell me every day that they no longer feel safe in our city,″ Buscaino said during the conference.
It was reported by a Venice resident,Nico Ruderman, that a homeless woman holding a knife was standing behind Buscaino. The police were immediately alerted.
Videos on social media show the officers taking the knife from Smith, who was not immediately identified at the scene of the crime.
According to a video that was posted on Twitter by Spectrum1 reporter Kate Cagle, Smith is heard saying, “I’m not letting go of my property.” Smith will be facing her set court date in October, according to updated reports.
The 19-year-old woman apparently told officers the knife fell out of her pocket and that she had it to protect herself.
LAPD Pacific Area Captain Steven Embrich said they believed Buscino was in danger, which is why they decided to take immediate action. Embirch was injured while trying to remove the knife from her hand.
This particular press conference was just a few blocks away from where a person experiencing homelessness attacked a 70-year-old man on Sunday. Other reports of crime in the encampments and fires in the area have been reported by local news outlet, Venice Current.
Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced the homeless encampments will need to be cleared by July 4.