Crime Watch is a weekly series culled from reports provided by the Santa Monica Police Department. These are arrests only. All parties are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 11:19 p.m.,
Santa Monica police officers responded to the 400 block of Broadway regarding a report of an assault with a deadly weapon. A witness reported that a male pushing a shopping cart was antagonizing homeless people by ramming them with the cart. As officers responded to the area, they were flagged down by a man who was bleeding profusely from his right arm. The man told officers he was cut by another transient. As officers spoke to the man, they noticed a shopping cart a short distance away. Based on the man’s description of who cut him, and the location where it occurred, officers detained a possible suspect. The suspect told officers that she was sleeping when she was awakened by a man who rammed her with a grocery cart and demanded that she pay him $5 to sleep on a bench. When she refused, the suspect allegedly threatened her with a lighter. The suspect lit a piece of paper and threw it on her, causing her blanket to catch fire, she said. Fearing for her safety, she removed a razor from her bag and swung it at the suspect, cutting his arm. The suspect then left the area. Based on the statements, officers arrested the man with the cut for assault with a deadly weapon. He was treated at a local hospital for his injury. He was identified as Adam Heath Finestone, 33, a transient. His bail was set at $50,000.
Sunday, Oct. 25,
While on routine patrol in the 1300 block of Ocean Avenue officers saw two suspects having a heated discussion with a valet. Shortly thereafter, the suspects got onto their bikes and rode south on the sidewalk of Ocean Avenue, a violation, police said. Officers stopped the suspects and questioned them about their bicycles. The suspects said they bought the bikes at two separate yard sales in Hollywood and Los Angeles. Officers asked about the conversation with the valet. One of the suspects said he was attempting to sell his bike for $100. Neither suspect had valid identification and were placed under arrest for riding bikes on the sidewalk. During a search, officers found bolt cutters, vice grips, assorted cell phones and a digital camera. Both suspects were charged with receiving stolen property and being in possession of burglary tools. They were identified as Ricky Jay Hodge, 22, of Santa Monica, and Brendan Stephen Conroy, 18, of Los Angeles. Bail was set at $20,000 for each.
Saturday, Oct. 24, at 1:38 a.m.,
Officers on routine patrol near the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Ocean Avenue saw a car traveling at a high rate of speed make an uncontrolled turn. The officers, who were driving in a marked patrol car, tried to catch up to the vehicle as it accelerated north on Ocean Avenue in the parking lane directly toward a parked car. The driver of the vehicle swerved at the last moment, but struck the parked car with the right rear portion of the vehicle. Officers were finally able to stop the suspect at the corner of Ocean Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. When officers contacted the driver, he allegedly denied hitting the car, but said he may have struck a sign. While speaking with the suspect, officers could smell the strong odor of alcohol and ordered him to exit the vehicle for a field sobriety test. Following the test, officers determined the suspect was driving under the influence of alcohol. He was arrested for DUI. A person in the parked vehicle struck by the suspect’s car was not injured by the collision. The driver was identified as Justin Peter Talia, 24, of Calabasas. His bail was set at $30,000.
Friday, Oct. 23, at 11:09 p.m.,
Officers responded to the 2100 block of California Avenue regarding a report of a hit and run that just occurred. When officers arrived, they made contact with a witness who said there was a car in the driveway of his apartment complex that he didn’t recognize. As he walked down the driveway to investigate, he saw the suspect walk from the carport and enter the car. He asked the woman what she was doing, but she didn’t respond. Instead, she allegedly backed her vehicle out of the driveway, striking the witness’ vehicle that was parked legally on the street. He attempted to stop the driver, but was unsuccessful. The witness typed the license plate number of the suspect’s car into his cell phone and called police. The witness checked the car in the carport that was closest to where the suspect was and discovered two long scratches. Officers were able to locate the suspect vehicle at an apartment in the 1000 block of Seventh Street where the vehicle was registered. Officers made contact with the driver and placed her under arrest for felony vandalism. She was identified as Melissa Lynn Hutchins, 18, of Santa Monica. Her bail was set at $20,000. The witness’ vehicle did not sustain any noticeable damage when it was allegedly struck by the suspect, so she was not charged with hit and run.
Thursday, Oct. 22, at 6:30 p.m.,
Officers stopped two adults in Court 19 for riding bicycles on the sidewalk, a violation of the municipal code. As officers were about to search the suspects, one allegedly told officers he was in possession of ecstasy pills. Officers recovered the drug and cash from the suspect’s sock. The suspect was booked for drug possession. The second cyclist was issued a citation and released. The first suspect was identified as Jackie Latroy Young, 20, of Santa Monica. His bail was set at $30,000.
Monday, Oct. 19, at 9:10 p.m.,
Officers were called to the Santa Monica Pier — Mariasol restaurant — regarding a theft investigation. When officers arrived they made contact with the manager who had a male patron in custody for failing to pay for his meal. The manager told officers that the suspect ordered dinner and two Coronas. After consuming the meal and beer the suspect left the restaurant without paying the bill of $38.27. The manager made a citizen’s arrest. The suspect was taken into police custody and booked for defrauding an innkeeper. He was identified as Patrick Bobby Gallagher, 46, a transient. His bail was set at $500.
Editor-in-Chief Kevin Herrera compiled these reports.