Santa Monica Lookout Opinion

Violent Attacks Demonstrate Continuing Failure of Crime Policies

May 29, 2024

Dear Editor,

The recent attempted rape on the beach in Santa Monica, the fourth rape or attempted rape in the area since March (two in Santa Monica and two nearby, at the Venice canals), along with yet another violent knife attack here, tragically demonstrate the continuing failure of Santa Monica’s State, County, and local representatives’ policies on crime as well as on homelessness.

And make no mistake, our representative’s policies and positions are absolutely linked to these crises. The latest crime statistics disclosed over two-thirds of arrestees in Santa Monica were homeless. A shocking number considering homeless individuals are not nearly two-thirds of the City’s population.

And such arrests too often involve serious violent crimes. All of the recent rape and attempted rape suspects were homeless. Indeed, charges against homeless arrestees in Santa Monica during the first five months of 2024 read like a psychopath’s wish list: murder, attempted murder, attempted rape, assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, and felony child abuse, among others.

Yet elected politicians cling to their failed prescriptions, as though depraved criminal appetites would be blunted if only wealthy real estate developers and favored non-profits raked in more greenbacks.

As to California State policies, both of the Santa Monica attempted rape arrestees were on parole (one method of obtaining an early release from state prison). Based on the State’s latest published data, less than a third of the thousands of prison inmates California furloughed on a sweeping early release program are considered at “low risk” of being arrested and convicted again.

Unfortunately, one of Santa Monica’s key state representatives, Rick Chavez-Zbur, who sits on the State Assembly’s so-called Public Safety Committee, revealed his criminal-friendly proclivities twice this legislative session, first by attempting to block a law to increase penalties for child sex-trafficking, and then by attempting to thwart California voters from toughening retail theft and drug crime penalties. Chavez-Zbur will be easily reelected this November, so be sure to lock your doors.

As for elected County politicians, District Attorney George Gascon’s office handles felonies committed in Santa Monica. Gascon’s policies are so transparently criminal-friendly that 98 percent of his own prosecutors favored his recall in a 2022 internal vote.

Gascon’s nefarious accomplishments include a child molester boasting about receiving a light sentence, a murderer so enamored with Gascon's soft touch that he vowed to tattoo the DA’s name on his face, and a convicted felon who killed two police officers after Gascon put him back on the streets via a plea bargain.

Gascon is standing for re-election this November, so expect a phony pivot to tough-on-crime posturing and be skeptical of any candidates who prattle about “public safety” but support re-electing him.

Criminals are the only “public” safer under Gascon.

At the County level, Santa Monica’s Board of Supervisors representative, Lindsey Horvath, zealously touts criminal-friendly policies. Horvath is “determined” to shut down the County jail, releasing all inmates back to the streets.

She also cast a deciding vote to “defund” law enforcement in West Hollywood. No surprise, Horvath endorsed Gascon in 2020 and is a Board Member of the slaughterhouse-on-wheels known as Metro. She is not up for re-election in 2024 but beware of any candidates she endorses.

For anyone wondering about the Santa Monica City Council’s priorities, note that immediately after the area’s recent sexual assaults, LA Council representative Traci Park took a blazing anti-crime stance, while Santa Monica’s Council busily scrutinized Councilmember Jesse Zwick’s proposal to bring peace to the Middle East and Councilmember Gleam Davis gushed over Austria’s housing market.

Perhaps the United Nations will step in to fix Santa Monica’s problems.

And one Councilmember, Caroline Torosis, a paid employee of County Board Supervisor Holly Mitchell and a stout defender of the County distributing syringes to homeless addicts in Santa Monica parks, deserves a special call-out as the only Councilmember elected in 2022 who did not name “reducing crime” as even a top three issue in Santa Monica.

Additionally, she endorsed Horvath and opposed the Gascon recall. Like Horvath, the Torosis, Davis and Zwick triumvirate are not on the ballot in 2024 but avoid like poison any candidates they endorse.

Bottom line: Spread the word far and wide. Elected representatives have failed. To deter crime, oppose crime-friendly candidates.


Peter DiChellis
Santa Monica

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