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.


Friday, June 7, at 5:50 p.m.,

Santa Monica police officers responded to the 1800 block of Lincoln Boulevard regarding a report of an assault that just occurred. When officers arrived they spoke with a man who said he was walking back from getting a sandwich when another man started yelling at him and accusing him of being the police. The man with the sandwich said he wasn’t, but the other didn’t buy it and punched him in the face, police said. He also attacked the man with a wooden frame containing glass panels that he picked up in the alley. A woman who was with the suspect convinced him to stop the attack and flee the scene. Officers caught up with the suspect and his friend a short time later and said they found approximately .84 grams of a white crystalline substance in a cigarette box the male suspect had on him. The suspect was placed under arrest and later booked for assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia and violating his parole resulting from a grand theft and robbery conviction. He was identified as Eric Daniel Rodriguez, 26, of Los Angeles. No bail was set.


Sunday, June 9, at 11:37 p.m.,

Officers responded to the 800 block of Santa Monica Boulevard regarding a report of a man screaming. When officers arrived they found a homeless man who was making incoherent and paranoid statements. As officers searched him they said they found two hypodermic needles in the man’s pocket. He allegedly told officers that he had been smoking crack cocaine and the needles were going to be used for heroin later on. Based on that, officers took the suspect into custody and he was booked for possession of drug paraphernalia and a probation violation. He was identified as Raymond Mefford, 41, a transient. His bail was set at $10,000.


Saturday, June 8, at 6:55 p.m.,

Officers responded to the 1900 block of Ocean Avenue regarding a man standing in the middle of a street screaming and staggering through traffic. As officers arrived, they saw a black Prius being driven by a woman who honked her horn at the man. The suspect walked up to the car and slammed his hand on the hood. He then approached the driver’s side door and allegedly tried to open the door. At that moment an officer drove up. He got out of his patrol car and fearing that he would be assaulted he used his baton to drive the suspect back. The suspect complied and sat down on a nearby curb. Officers said they could smell the strong odor of alcohol on his breath. His eyes were also bloodshot and watery. His speech was very slurred, police said. After interviewing several witnesses, police placed the man under arrest for being drunk in public, resisting arrest and being a pedestrian in the roadway. He was identified as Torsten Hammel, 40. His bail was set at $10,000.


Saturday, June 8, at 4:45 a.m.,

Officers responded to the 2800 block of the beach regarding a report of a possible drowning. When officers arrived they spoke with a man who said that he and two other friends had been drinking earlier in the day and went to the beach for a swim. One of them was pulled into the current and dragged out to sea. He was later rescued by lifeguards. After interviewing the men, officers determined they were under the influence of alcohol and unable to care for themselves. All three were placed under arrest for being drunk in public. They were identified as Aaron Joseph Westbrook, 35, William Alberto Blanco, 23, and Anthony Cosenza, 23; all from Los Angeles. Bail was set at $80, 683.


Thursday, June 6, at 2:35 p.m.,

Officers on patrol saw a known drug user on probation riding a bike along the 2100 block of Delaware Avenue. Officers made contact with the man, who said he had just come from the Santa Monica probation office. Officers searched the suspect and found no contraband. The officers decided to conduct a compliance check at his home and during the search found a glass pipe, which had white-burnt residue on the inside. Pipes like that are commonly used to smoke meth, police said. Officers photographed the scene and placed the suspect under arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia and the probation violation. He was identified as Dennis Eldridge Scarberry, 32, of Santa Monica. No bail was set.


Tuesday, June 4, at 8 a.m.,

Officers responded to the 300 block of Colorado Avenue — Santa Monica Place — regarding a cashier at one of the stores who was being detained for allegedly stealing money from a register. When officers arrived they spoke with store security who said there were consistent cash shortages traced back to the employee’s register. Security began monitoring the suspect’s activity using a surveillance camera. A few days prior the suspect was seen removing money from the cash drawer and then put it into a green money bag. He then walked into a bathroom where there are no security cameras. A store manager told police that there was roughly $300 missing. When confronted, the employee admitted to stealing between $800 and $1,000 during the month of May. After allegedly confessing to officers, the employee was placed under arrest for grand theft. He was identified as Wesley Neal Barnett, 32, of Venice, Calif. His bail was set at $20,000.


Editor-in-Chief Kevin Herrera compiled these reports.


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