A woman who appeared to be suffering from a mental illness attempted to steal a 9-month-old baby from the child’s grandmother in Venice on Wednesday, then threw coffee on the child, the family says.
Katy Gross, the mother of the child and daughter of the grandmother who were attacked, said what happened was her “worst nightmare.”
Gross’ mother and the infant, Gilda, were on the Venice Boardwalk and headed to a playground at about 9:30 a.m. when they were confronted by the woman.
“The woman came up behind her and said, ‘You! Give me that baby, give me that baby,'” Gross said.
The woman then grabbed Gross’ mother’s coffee and threw it at Gilda’s face, Gross said.
The Los Angeles Police Department arrested the woman, and she’ll face assault charges, Gross said.
Gross said while she wants to see the community protected, she also wants to see this woman get the mental help that she needs.
Other Venice residents echoed the calls to ease the homelessness crisis while keeping the area safe.
Ryan Nichols, a resident and member of Venice Kids Count, said a planned site for a homeless shelter and mental-health services “is a much-needed thing,” though its placement in a park is an issue.
“The problem is, it’s right across the street from an elementary school,” Nichols said.
Nichols said he and other residents learned of the planned site through back channels, despite an agreement with the city that they’d be given 60 days’ written notice on any proposed changes to the building and park in question.
“All we want to do is have our 60 days and be part of the conversation,” Nichols said.