Editor’s Note: Due to fears for the safety of his family, SMDP has agreed to withhold Brad’s full name.
Local residents have united to donate thousands of dollars this week to help a man who was seen coming to the aid of a woman during the recent looting in Santa Monica.
In the video, the man jumps out of his truck holding a hockey stick to defend a woman who had been pushed to the ground. The man was then mobbed, had his wallet stolen and his truck was damaged.
The video begins with a woman who is on the ground surrounded by others. “Hey! Back up!” and the sounds of horns blare in the background and, seconds later, Brad appears with a hockey stick in hand.
“It was Sunday afternoon, May 31,” Brad said in an interview Tuesday. He’s visited the Promenade and bluffs in Santa Monica countless times in his life, “and it was supposed to open up that weekend.”
He said he had no idea there was a protest scheduled for the neighborhood, but after getting redirected because of street closures, he figured he’d sit in his car and catch a front row view of history.
“I decided to be curious and hang around for a little bit to see what was going on. Nobody was looking at me; I had my windows open; I didn’t feel threatened at all and why should I? I 100% support the protesters,” Brad said as he detailed how he soon found himself right in the midst of the mess that would play out on the viral video.
“There was one car in front of me at the light and I noticed four females on the corner on the sidewalk. A woman rolled up on her bicycle near the crosswalk and stopped. Then, I saw the three females go after her,” Brad said, mentioning he had seen no violence up until this point. “They just ran straight at her and slammed her down so violently and so hard, and (the lady on the bicycle) didn’t move.“
So, Brad said he jumped out of his truck and grabbed his hockey stick.
“At first it was just about stopping these women from beating this other woman,” Brad said, but it immediately turned into a struggle with him and half-a-dozen guys who didn’t see why he was wielding a hockey stick in the crowd.
“I mean, I was basically a crazy white guy with a stick. They didn’t see why I got out of the truck. They didn’t know what was going on. They reacted to the situation just like I did,” Brad said. “And one guy said something to me. I said something back. He said something and then it all stopped. They took my stick and they were all gone.”
Brad added he understands why everybody did what they did and he thanks the community for the support it has offered.
“The fact that people want to help has been amazing. I’m a very private person so I originally got mad at my friend for making (a GoFundMe),” Brad said. “But I would like to say there has apparently been a lot of racial and militant reactions, which I don’t agree with. And I want people to know this wasn’t racial at all. I empathize with everybody’s desire to be supportive. It just so happened a white man had a stick and the guys that took it away from me were black. It was all a coincidence. I would’ve jumped out no matter who was laying there and I’m sure everybody would’ve stopped somebody with a stick in a crowd.”
Brad said he can deal with the lingering effects of his wallet being stolen and a dinged truck, “but I’m really wondering what happened to the woman. I know they took her stuff and I don’t know if there’s anybody out there helping her. That’s kind of upsetting to me.”