If your city can’t protect innocent women walking down the street from attacks by random creeps, your city is failing. Over the weekend there was one such incident in West LA.
The victim Saturday was an Asian woman in her 40s who was going out to get coffee around 11 am. She heard a man on a scooter yell something in her direction. It’s not clear from the various reports if she understood what he was shouting or if it made any sense. In any case, he kept going and she didn’t think any more about it.
Dan Steinberg, the victim’s boyfriend, says she was just out for her morning coffee when the attack happened. Steinberg said she heard the man shout something, then disappear. Minutes later the man reappeared, shortly before she felt something hit the back of her head. The victim said she even lost consciousness at one point.
In surveillance video from near the scene, the scooter driver is seen hurling something at the woman, before making a U-turn into oncoming traffic and driving away.
It’s pretty clear from the video that the man through a small fire extinguisher, i.e. a metal tube, at her head. She struggled to get up and was taken to a local hospital which determined she had a concussion.
Police are still looking for the assailant but two days later there’s still no word of an arrest. Here’s the video from Fox 11 which includes an interview with the woman’s boyfriend.
In the grand scheme of things this one assault isn’t a huge story. No one was killed, fortunately. That means this particular victim is better off than the 37-year-old man who was shot and killed Sunday night in an alley after he nearly hit someone with his car.
Still, I think the incident with the fire extinguisher is the kind of story that drives normal people crazy. It’s a sign that the streets are out of control. Even in the middle of the day some lunatic shouting at women on the street can decide to escalate to violence because he feels the woman wasn’t respectful to whatever catcall he was making. It sort of reminds me of this guy who pulled out a hatchet in a Manhattan McDonalds because a woman didn’t want to give him the attention he felt he deserved.
There’s also the sneaking suspicion that even if the creep with the fire extinguisher is caught, nothing much will happen to him. And that’s especially true if he turns out to be homeless. He’ll get a slap on the wrist, maybe get released without bail and could be on the street to attack someone else before the week is out. And maybe the next victim won’t be as “lucky” as the current one.
What I think most people want, even in a blue state like California and a blue city like LA, is to see guys like this taken off the street and sent to prison for a stretch and then, if they do it again, sent to prison for a much longer stretch. That’s in contrast to the current effort by progressives like LA County DA George Gascon to help as many people as possible avoid going to prison. That doesn’t sit well with a lot of us when women are being randomly attacked while walking the streets in the middle of the day. LA needs to do better.
There hasn’t been an arrest yet. If and when that happens, we’ll have to wait and see how DA Gascon handles this case.