More than 50 residents in the La Crescenta neighborhood rallied Saturday in the hopes of convincing a judge to prevent the possible release of a sexually violent predator in their kid-friendly neighborhood.
“I want to make sure that where I live in my community is safe, and safe enough for kids to be able to go out and walk if they would like to,” said Amanda Lewin, one of the residents who attended the rally at the intersection of Briggs and Foothill Boulevard.
Residents like Lewin say they’re livid after learning about the proposed placement of Calvin Lynn Grassmier, 66, in their community. Grassmier was convicted in the ’90s of sex crimes against minors and has been under state supervision for decades, according to the Megan’s Law website.
Alex Gardner, a community organizer and La Crescenta resident, said he’s never been involved in activism until he learned about Grassmier being possibly located just four houses down from his own home.
“I realized that the system had failed us and something is broken. And so I realized we need to mobilize our community very quickly, to make people aware that this was putting a community at very high risk from a sexually violent predator,” Gardner said. “This is an individual that’s very scary.”
Gardner said he worries that violent sex offenders like Grassmier “lack the self control and self regulation needed to try and prevent them from acting on their urges.”
Neighbors are making a final push to get letters of opposition to a judge ahead of a court hearing scheduled for June 11 at the Los Angeles Superior Court. The hearing will determine whether to place Grassmier in a supervised home about one mile from a park in La Crescenta, according to Supervisor Kathryn Barger.
Over the past week, residents have held rallies and meetings to express their concerns over what could happen in their neighborhood if Grassmier were to live among them.
Community and public safety leaders, including L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, have also spoken out. On June 3, the Sheriff took to Twitter to say that Grassmier’s release into the community would “makes us all less safe, as well as places an unnecessary burden on public safety resources.”