While Fears about Eastside Crimes Are on the Rise, Aggravated Assaults in WeHo Are in Decline

Capt. Sergio Aloma, the head of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, appeared at the West Hollywood City Council meeting last night to explain steps he was taking to address safety concerns expressed by residents of the city’s Eastside after a stabbing death on Sunday.

Capt. Sergio Aloma

The stabbing, which occurred near the McDonald’s restaurant on La Brea Avenue, has prompted a number of residents to decry what they have seen as an increase in violent crime. However Aloma told the Council that aggravated assaults have actually declined sharply in West Hollywood. He said such assaults, which typically involve a weapon, were down 20% in 2017 over 2016. So far this year, Aloma said, aggravated assaults are down 23%

Aloma said he has been in touch with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Departments Homicide Bureau, which is optimistic that it will find the assailant. The man attacked has been identified as Bernar Jivan Arlain, 32. Arlain is an African-American man who apparently had lives in Los Angeles and now appears to be homeless, Aloma said.

Arlain apparently got into an argument with another man just after 1 a.m. on Sunday. He was stabbed by the man and eventually fell and died behind the bus shelter in front of the Dylan apartment building on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Aloma was questioned last night by Councilmember Lauren Meister as to what steps the station was taking to improve safety on the Eastside. Aloma said the station is stepping up foot patrols in the area and will park its black and white squad cars in prominent places so as to let possible criminals know law enforcement officers in the area. Car patrols in the area also will be increased, he said.

Meister pressed Aloma as to why a van that was considered by some to be a mobile deputy station wasn’t on the Eastside. That van, Aloma said, was designed as a place to house officers during major events and to be used during major emergencies. He said he preferred to have officers on the street rather than housed in a van. Aloma also assured the Council that the Sheriff’s Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) team is constantly on the streets interacting with homeless people.


16 Comments
  1. One can get statistics to prove anything you want. If you say aggravated assaults (weapon or severe bodily injury) are down 20%, that could mean there were 5 and now there are 4. MORE has to be done to cut crime on the Eastside.

  2. Following the Murder of the Homeless man behind the bus stop on Santa Monica Blvd & La Brea last weekend, I have growing concerns about public safety, and especially the Growing Homeless Camp that is surrounding Poinsettia Park.

    The net is, people don’t feel safe around the park because of the blatant street level crime. I’d encourage anyone to take a walk south down Poinsettia off Santa Monica to check it out for yourself.

    Today I was coming home from the bank and noticed that there appears to be a non-permitted bicycle repair facility operating among the homeless camp that occupies the sidewalk and prohibits use of the sidewalk by citizens like myself. My guess is these urban campers don’t have permits to camp on the sidewalk or operate a Bicycle ‘repair facility’.

    If you search myla311 and query “Search All Service Requests” for “POINSETTIA PL AT ROMAINE ST, 90046” you’ll see there are 15+ service requests, many closed regarding the situation. Based on what I saw today I’m not sure on what basis they were closed as I don’t see resolution.

    Examples of closed myla311 Service Requests:
    Service Request # 1-954404461
    Service Request # 1-954320311

    The net is this is not good. There are some pretty obvious things occurring here (like drugs, and what would appear to be prostitution) in open air daylight. I would hate to see someone else get hurt while walking their dog or going to the park. Something has to give, I mean I get that resources are scarce, this gets worse, you’re going to start to see greater political pressure to do something. Now the urban campers do move back and forth down Poinsettia between LA and WeHo so maybe some collaboration with the LAPD may be in order.

    Can someone help us understand what specifically the city is doing in 1) response to the murder of the man behind the bus stop, the assault of the good samaritan in front of 7-11 by the homeless man with an Axe, and on and on… and 2) the Homeless problem in general…

    1. Poinsettia Park is not in West Hollywood; our sheriff’s station unfortunately has no authority over what takes place there.

  3. I’ve lived at Alta Vista and Fountain for 11 years and crime has definitely increased dramatically over the last year alone. I had a friend stabbed multiple times outside my apartment waiting for his Uber 3 weeks ago. The guy did it to rob him of his phone, which he took. He got away. I’m not sure if this guy is linked/same as the one that committed the murder last weekend at SM/LaBrea but I wouldn’t doubt it. Because I’m on the North side of Fountain, it’s under LAPD jurisdiction. Last week a guy exposed himself to my downtairs neighbors at her kitchen window but got away before the cops came, only to return 2 days later and tried to strong arm his way into her apartment when she opened her front door. Again, he got got away but a report was filed when police investigated. Something has to be done to increase police presence in this area from LAPD and the Weho Sheriff’s dept.

  4. The City of WEHO has a bank account and budget larger than cities twice its size. There is no reason for ANY residents to feel unsafe.

    1. Several of the sheriff deputies themselves claim they don’t
      have the budget to train and keep more deputies on the force. How about that?

      Sometimes there is the impression that some Weho Deputies do not take their job seriously giving flippant responses to serious calls. We have a strange culture of law enforcement here roaming our streets.

      Hard to know who will have the backs of the residents when we need help.

      Isn’t the COPPS Team supposed to be proactive?

  5. I passed there about 2:00AM and there were four LASD units parked at the curb on Santa Monica with yellow tape up. When I returned about an hour later there were about ten units at the location on both Santa Monica and on La Brea. i didn’t realize there were that many units assigned to West Hollywood and was wondering who was patrolling the rest of the city.

    It reminded me of the Old Arlo Guthrie song “Alice Restaurant.” and his story about dumping trash on Thanksgiving and being arrested the next day.

  6. The problem is this city naively treats “the homeless” like they’re otherwise normal and well adjusted individuals who are just experiencing a temporary run of bad luck. I’ve lived here 17 years and nothing could be further from the truth. They are overwhelmingly mentally ill and/or hardcore addicts and career criminals on a decades long revolving carousel between jail and the streets. Yeah it would be nice if we had some sort of system in place to force them into treatment and recovery, but that’s not reality.

    Now with prop 47 having reduced many thefts, robberies, burglaries, frauds and extortions from felonies to misdemeanors, they are no longer enforced and essentially have become decriminalized. Add to that prop 57 making many violent felony convictions eligible for early parole and we have thousands of dangerous individuals being dumped out of the jails and let loose onto the streets.

    So now we have a mini skid row on Poinsettia and a murder this week, and two weeks ago it was an old lady punched in the face at 8am while crossing at Sunset and Highland, and a few weeks before that it was an old man whacked in the head with a backpack full of rocks across from Best Buy, and before that was the brutal 7/11 axe attack, and before that some stabbings on Melrose and before that a woman stabbed to death on Hollywood blvd by panhandlers in broad daylight, and who can even count all of the thefts, burglaries, car break ins and public defecations?

    At some point we’re going to have to ask ourselves, is this our neighborhood or is it theirs? Because it can’t be both, not anymore

    1. The “mini skid row on Poinsettia” and the Sunset/Highland intersection are both outside of West Hollywood. LAPD territory, complain to Koretz, Rhue, and Garcetti!

  7. Crime is down, because the sheriff deputies refuse to arrest homeless people and take reports.
    Can we find out if calls to the sheriff department are up? They have a talent for taking so long to show up, that the suspects are gone.

  8. I don’t live on the eastside but I was surprised by how subservient in tone one council member was when “asking if” the sheriffs “might be able” to provide a little more presence there. It seemed like the sheriff’s spokesperson should have been on the dais & the council member should have been behind the public speakers’ podium asking for special favors. Considering that there doesn’t seem to be much sheriff’s presence anywhere except at the station, I should think the council members would take a much more assertive & authoritative stand

  9. Wow! I wouldn’t walk around on the east side if my life depended on it because your life or safety may depend on it. Not smart. Mud city, same thing. No walking after dark.

    1. The eastside is not too dangerous to walk around in. I walk to Target all of the time. You’re being ridiculous

  10. Weho Sheriffs Dept. better start getting it together. I’ve lived on the east side of Weho for many years, now I need to carry a big stick to take a simple walk and feel somewhat safe. People are
    aggressive, acting our or, passed out on the med. strip on our side of town and left there like it’s ok.. No it’s not ok. Sharp up Weho officials and Sherrifs , 1.9 miles to patrol isn’t freaking brain surgery! We need to feel safe.

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