Last week prominent City Hall critic and downtown business owner John Alle was hospitalized after a violent altercation with a homeless man in Palisades Park.
According to the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD), Alle was recording video in the park and the homeless suspect, identified as Tyler Jordan Keating took offense to the filming
“The suspect was angry he was being filmed and stood up to confront the victim, demanding he stop recording,” said SMPD. “The suspect then struck the victim at least one time in the face, knocking him to the ground. The suspect took the victim’s phone, which had fallen to the ground, and fled the scene.”
Keating was arrested for felony battery, robbery, and elder abuse and booked into the Santa Monica Jail where he is being held. Alle said his jaw was broken in two places and that he was knocked unconscious during the assault.
Not long after the incident, Alle sent an email to various media outlets and officials in which he described in his own words what happened.
“Today [September 22] my concussion subsided, but I have two large breaks in my jaw and cracked teeth and inner mouth wounds my oral surgeon has identified,” Alle wrote. “My left temple is still bruised from the assailant’s kicking my head after I was down and knocked unconscious. I have an appointment with my ophthalmologist to discuss my blurred vision since the attack.”
Alle is frequently outspoken and has criticized the city for its handling of homelessness and crime on a number of occasions. He hangs a banner from his Promenade storefront declaring Santa Monica is unsafe and often publishes photos and videos of homelessness through his organization, The Santa Monica Coalition.
Talking to the Daily Press, Alle said that he had about 10 minutes spare after showing some retail space and decided to take a walk in the park.
“I was holding my phone directly, discreetly, belt high and there were numerous people with actual cameras, not phones, cameras. I saw two tour buses and everyone got off taking pictures of the drug dealers. It was shocking … And then all the while people were walking and jogging around all this illegal activity. It was like two worlds occurring at the same time.
“He approached me and gave me a lot of lip. And I said, ‘look, I’m just out for a walk. Okay. So you want a bottle of water?’ He said, ‘no, I want your phone and I want your money.’ I said, ‘well, I’m going to keep walking.’ And he kept after me and I kept facing him, walking backwards, hoping he’d leave,” Alle said.
He explained how Keating then spoke briefly to a group of people lying on the ground at which one of them stood up. “So then I was faced with him on my right and the other guy on the left … It was my error that I didn’t get out of the car with my Taser or with my mace. That was my bad … And he even told me, ‘I don’t see a knife. I don’t see any mace. I’m going to kill you,” Alle said.
“I backed up, I asked some bystanders to call the police. They just looked down, they didn’t respond, they were worried. And then the guy on the left started to approach me and I stepped back and then I guess when I was looking left, the original guy [Keating] punched me really hard a couple times on my jaw. And then I went down. And then he kicked me, particularly in the temple and I passed out. Police say I was out for half an hour.”
Alle claims that there is at least as much illegal activity during the day in Reed, Palisades, Tongva and Douglas Parks than at night. “Our city maintenance workers, especially Ambassadors who are untrained and inexperienced, are getting attacked,” he wrote. Alle also claims that this is unreported by the Block-by-Block Ambassador program.
He says that recently passed propositions and state bills make it challenging to deal with the crime and human depravity on the Promenade, in parks and public spaces, but that elected officials are not enforcing or applying the law.
“There is no accountability or consequences for those who do not abide by the law,” he writes, adding, “We are in a downward spiral, the City Council, Mayor, City Manager and City Attorney are too concerned about offending those who commit crimes. The homeless addict who attacked me has opted for drugs in lieu of housing.”