The Santa Monica Police Department arrested a man on Aug. 6 for attempted murder, attempted car jacking, assault with a deadly weapon and making criminal threats.

Michael Witt, 47, of Santa Monica, was arrested at about noon on Aug. 6 near his Virginia Avenue apartment after threatening several victims with a butcher’s knife.

According to SMPD Lt. Saul Rodriguez, officers received the first call regarding Witt at about 9:07 a.m. when residents called to report a disturbance in one of the nearby apartments. Officers responded to the 2400 block of Virginia Avenue and spoke with Witt, his roommate and neighbors.

At that time, officers did not witness a crime nor did anyone claim a crime had occurred.

“They determined there was no violation of any crime at that point,” said Rodriguez. “If he doesn’t display any kind of behavior that would justify an psychiatric evaluation all we can do is advise everyone to call again if something reoccurs.”

Officers left the apartment at about 10:50 a.m. but were called back at about 12:14 p.m., this time with reports of violence and a potential car jacking.

Rodriguez said sometime after the officers left, Witt left his apartment with a large knife and began threatening other residents.

“A victim said the suspect approached him and began ranting and raving and waving a knife,” said Rodriguez. “The victim began to video the encounter and was able to avoid being struck.”

Witt also entered the street where he encountered a woman sitting in a parked vehicle. Witt approached the closed windows and struck them several times while the woman sat in the drivers seat. He was unable to enter the vehicle and was still in the street when officers arrived on scene.

“The officers ordered him to the ground and he complies,” said Rodriguez. “They weren’t sure about him still being armed so that’s why they ordered him down.”

Witt was booked later that day on multiple charges.

Rodriguez said the arrest appears to be an isolated incident and said the investigation is ongoing.

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...