Perpetual Litigant Michael Hunt Kicked Off Venice Beach For Illegal Items. Adios!

Notorious litigant against the City of LA & illegal vendor Michael Hunt, who most recently spent time in jail for breaking a woman’s kneecap for being in “his” vending spot was ceremoniously ticketed and booted from Ocean Front Walk today. Mr. Hunt, who chronically files complaints against any LAPD police officer that does not do what he tells them to do has been given several warnings over the last few weeks that the items that he has been warned over for years as being illegal to vend, finally don’t fall under any loophole that he can squeeze through. Today was the day, and although he knew it was coming Mr. Hunt stages a combative and uncooperative stance against The City and LAPD in hopes that they will do something that he can file a lawsuit over. However, his lack of intelligence and persistence has alerted The City and LAPD to his tactics, and the latest revision to the vending ordinance 42.15 no longer allows for him to set up and sell soaps, incense, bath salts and his other illegal fare. Vivienne Robinson, a fellow vendor shot video of his altercation with LAPD where he was lawfully cited and told to remove his items. He tried his hardest to bullshit his way out of it, but unfortunately tactics, aside from just being totally annoying – have no grounds. Here are two glorious snippets from the video (also shown below) of Michael Hunt signing his ticket (which he at first refused to sign… which results in arrest) and then packing up his crap and leaving.


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Community Effort ID’s Suspect/Victim In Brutal Venice Boardwalk Fight / LAPD Labor Day Bonus Cops

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Thanks to a community member providing critical video of a late-night Venice Beach boardwalk beating and subsequent LAPD outreach, members of the public that saw the clips and news coverage contacted the police and were able to identify the victim and suspect caught on video during the late night fight. LAPD reached out to the two and made contact with them regarding the encounter. No charges were filed but the message is now clear, through new efforts put forth by Mike Bonin, community watch and involvement & LAPD: the boardwalk has a new level of much needed oversight. Resident outcry with a spoonful of ugly press moved the needle into the red, and there is now a new system in place and a plan for increased patrol of the boardwalk area to keep the agitated transient population from engaging in violence.

In addition, today marked the first day of enforcement of the new vending law changes to 42.15. Vendors may no longer have banned items in their vending space PERIOD. Through a systematic patrol today, officers went down the boardwalk armed with a reference list of vendors that have already been warned of the vending changes over the past month. Those who were in spaces selling banned items were ticketed and told to pack up and leave. If they did not leave after having ample time ( over an hour or so ), they would be booked and their items confiscated for presentation at the court date. Numerous tickets were issued today and the process is going to continue all weekend. And guess what… many of the offending vendors are part of the nightly camping transient contingent. The lawless atmosphere is being tackled from all sides including the new community involvement.

Suggestions for residents include:

  • ALWAYS CALL IN CRIME! 911 for a crime in progress, 1-877-ASK-LAPD for non-emergency crimes
  • TWEET YOUR COMMUNITY: Social media gets the word out FAST, @copy @venice311 and @lapdpacific to raise immediate awareness. MANY first responders follow these accounts
  • Take ownership of your property and lock / secure your home & belongings.
  • PAY ATTENTION: Don’t get lost in your phone when walking out in public

Also, expect to see a “beyond sufficient” number of officers at Venice Beach for the Labor Day weekend, according to Patrol Captain Nicole Alberca. Narcotics, vice, vending & general stupidity will not get lost in the crowd this year.


French Vogue Reveals The Splendor Of New Rose Hotel Remodeled By Owner/Photographer Glen Luchford

For you fellow residents, you surely remember the Rose Hotel on Speedway & Rose as a hostel/meth shack. Not the kind of “funky” that even most OG claimers wanted to lay claim to being a beloved spot in the neighborhood.  During our Sunday graffiti cleanups I can’t count the times that we saw drug deals pass from window to alley while casually passing by. When a missing teen from the midwest was rumored to be in Venice, when we helped her family find her she confessed the showers there were amply available for transients in exchange for drugs.

No more.

Fashion photographer Glen Luchford snatched up the property and has remodeled it with a tasteful and stylish touch that puts a comfortable, laid back yet luxurious touch to an area flanked by drug addicted homeless. Not sure if he is aware that the Ozone public restrooms are slated for a delicious remodel in the next year or so. Things are coming along nicely. Thanks Glen & Company!

Read about the stylish overhaul in French Vogue: (images courtesy of Vogue article)

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Violent Beat Down & Promises Of LAPD Enforcement Send Venice Beach Residents To Brink

This video might seem shocking to you but if you live in the high-rise apts on Westminster & Ocean Front Walk or own a business in the area… it is an occurrence that happens multiple times per day, every day. Despite numerous calls, emails, tweets, web postings and pleads from locals for over 6 months – LAPD has promised the moon but has delivered little, leaving residents in fear for their safety and dealing with threats and intimidation from the combative transients that have taken over the grass at Venice beach. It isn’t just fights- it is drug dealing, drug doing and vandalism. Part of the daily disbelief is watching LAPD either drive by, or respond and spend more time waving off the concerned residents who call them than doing anything to resolve the problem.

After forming a neighborhood watch, attending the block captains meeting, organizing local businesses and calling in multiple crimes almost daily, the area has been promised extra patrol and enforcement with LAPD defining Westminster a “zero tolerance zone” for bad behavior – coming from the Division Captain himself. The locals who have been promised this directly feel lied to, and the situation has descended into a very tense situation. “I have no faith that LAPD will enforce anything”, said one business owner that wished to remain anonymous. “I am told the same promise over and over as if LAPD is giving me some great gift – and it is comical because they clearly don’t communicate with one another ever. They all read from the same script but the show never starts.”

For years residents have been encouraged to work with LAPD, and to report every crime and always call either 911 or the non-emergency number. Doing that was reportedly the only way we would get more officers, as those crime reports result in statistics that give us more law enforcement personnel. What residents don’t know is the strategy of officers stacking up calls in their que so they don’t go outside of the division, to make it look like calls are being handled and to keep internal numbers in a zone that has nothing to do with helping to resolve crime – but instead to placate stats so the Division looks good in reports. The side-effect of that is that we never get more officers, which is what we desperately need. The deck is stacked against the neighborhoods that need the most help with crime, and in one of the most dangerous zones on Venice Beach summoning LAPD isn’t even an option entertained by the locals anymore… and they are angry.

Venice Beach is a unique area in the City of LA. We have specific laws and conditions that are not found anywhere else. The average patrol officer needs months of hands-on training to become familiar with our special needs. As an area teeming with transients, drunks, druggies, overdoses and fights – can you believe that there are no officers assigned to Venice Beach from 2 a.m. to 11 a.m.? Just division patrol which is overloaded with nighttime burglaries and thefts from vehicles. So half the day goes by with no oversight or patrol of the very population responsible for the gross majority of local crime, that is very much experienced by local residents but widely unreported either due to fear of intimidation, or most recently lack of response.

With this evenings events, as you can hear from the video the caller called police, and even narrates how he calls time and time again and it is the same group of criminals and nothing is done. The crimes on this area of the boardwalk are documented in a tumblr post called “Tweakers & Sunshine”, a scary, accurate photo documentation of what can be seen at any time of the day or night on Westminster and Ocean Front Walk in Venice. Word is the City Councilman was going to come visit due to the many pleads by residents via social media to see the unbelievable situation first hand, but the meeting was cancelled. And then tonight, another brutal fight.

This is pure lawlessness. Venice Beach needs dedicated patrol like the Airport has dedicated command staff and structure. We are as unique with as much of an international tourist attraction. The Beach suffers from the difficult issues that the constant churn of LAPD Captains, Lieutenants and Sergeants don’t want to grapple with because it is too difficult, has a stiff learning curve, is very demanding on the staff and like the current sitting hierarchy they are poised to promote out… so why do anything other than just keep the lid from boiling off the pot – the next person can worry about it.

As shown in the video, a resident called LAPD to report the violent beating that happens nightly on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. You can hear those involved in the fight alert others that the cops are coming, and they disperse. By the time officers arrive, they don’t see anyone fighting so they leave, and it is recorded as a non-incident. But as you can see from the video, there was an incident – it just fell through the cracks again.

Our neighborhood is full of hard working people. We don’t deserve to be shafted by a department ruled by meeting spreadsheet numbers to impress the upper-brass. We need our neighborhood to be safe, we need LAPD to be supported by headquarters downtown in recognizing our needs – and we need it now. We have MANY amazing police officers that believe in our community and want to see it be a safe place for everyone – their hands are tied however if the leadership and backing from the department isn’t there. At this point, they can’t say they aren’t aware of the problem.
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