Authorities said a homeless woman with a knife was arrested Monday morning at a campaign stop by a mayoral candidate, who was blasting the city for its response to the homeless crisis.
The LAPD said a police captain received a minor cut from a 6-inch hunting knife in making the arrest at Venice Beach boardwalk, where residents have complained about tents, trash, drug use and fighting.
The woman was spotted standing behind City Councilman Joe Buscaino, who had just urged a city 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.
Bucaino finished a short speech and was shaking hands with people when Nico Ruderman, a Venice resident, said he saw a homeless woman standing behind Buscaino and holding a knife.
“She said, ‘I’m gonna start killing people,’ and I jumped forward and grabbed Joe,” Ruderman told the Los Angeles Times.
Private security guards drew guns and hustled Buscaino into an SUV and police officers detained the woman, the Times said. The woman yelled that she had the knife for protection and to cut fruit, the paper said.
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 Times reported.
In a statement, Buscaino said: “This is exactly why I was in Venice Beach today, charting a new course for our city, and I am convinced now, more than ever, that bold action is needed to make our city safer for everyone, regardless of housing status.”
Buscaino represents the 15th Council District, which doesn’t include Venice Beach. He is running for mayor next year when the term of Eric Garcetti expires. City Attorney Mike Feuer also has announced his candidacy.
Garcetti’s tenure has been marred by a crisis of homelessness that became a national embarrassment despite a massive jump in government spending to fight it by providing temporary shelter and several high-profile cleanups of encampments.