City Councilmember and life-long resident of Santa Monica, Phil Brock, together with his partner Kathryn Boole, were involved in an unfortunate altercation on the Third Street Promenade on Sunday afternoon.

According to the Santa Monica Police Department, the suspect, Sawyer Walden Allee (20) was arrested and booked for battery and grand theft from a person. He has a court date set for the end of August.

Speaking to the Daily Press, Brock explained that at approximately 2:45 p.m. on Sunday, June 17, outside 1335 Third Street, the pair observed a gentleman ripping up flyers and throwing them on the ground. Upon requesting that he put them in the trash, the gentleman, Allee, responded only with expletives, so Brock himself went to pick them up and deposit them in a nearby garbage can.

At this point, Allee moved to confront Brock, who politely advised him against it. Turning his back and walking away, both Brock and Boole were then struck by first the warm, sticky liquid contents of a soda bottle and then the bottle itself, as Allee continued to shout, yell and scream incoherently.

Brock and Boole both called the SMPD and simultaneously tried to distance themselves from Allee, but he remained close by and began following them as they walked away, towards Santa Monica Blvd. Then Allee tried to snatch the white bucket-style hat that Brock was wearing. A tussle ensued as the councilmember struggled to keep a grip on his phone and his hat. The struggle ultimately failed as Allee was able to grab said hat.

“At that point, I was like, ‘I’m not gonna let him steal my hat’ and I kept telling him to give me back the hat, give me back the hat,” Brock said, adding, “As I tried to grab it, he stumbled backwards and fell and I ended up trying to hold him down.”

Brock shouted to a nearby community ambassador to go and get Public Safety Officers from the community policing station and they rushed to the scene along with five SMPD units that arrived shortly afterwards.

“He was put into a SUV and transported away and we gave statements. Then we walked home, a very sticky walk home because whatever it was that he’d had in the bottle was like Gatorade, Coke Cola, something really sticky and syrupy, we were covered with it,” Brock said, adding, “But we got changed, got back into the car, went out for dinner and went to see a movie. We did not let it intimidate us nor deter us from going back to our promenade.”

This incident comes as the Downtown Santa Monica Inc. board recently voted to move forward with the initiative that will see a private security company patrolling the Third Street Promenade and surrounding area. An operational report that includes details on this is expected to be presented to the City during the Tuesday, July 25 Council meeting.

Thankfully, no one was hurt, but Brock told the Daily Press that he was going to have his hand x-rayed to double check that a suspected sprain is nothing more.

“After we’d had a chance to reflect,” Brock said, “My significant other felt that if it wasn’t me, he would’ve either gone into a store or maybe even attack someone on the Promenade. Obviously I prefer it wasn’t me, but, you know, if it’s a choice between a resident or visitor or sales person working in a store or me, I rather be me.”

Scott fell in love with Santa Monica when he was much younger and now, after living and working in five different countries, he has returned. He's written for the likes of the FT, NBC, the BBC and CNN.