A woman living on the 7900 block of Norton Avenue on West Hollywood’s Eastside has come forward with a chilling story of a man who apparently has been rambling through the neighborhood for a long time and on Labor Day attempted to break into her apartment and suggested he would assault her sexually.
Kathy Bray spoke out about the incident at Monday’s Public Safety Commission meeting, offering details that reflect allegations others have made about the man on NextDoor.com, the neighborhood website. Bray’s explicit description of the incident at the public meeting got praise from several of those attending the meeting, who have expressed concern about public safety on the Eastside. The Sheriff’s Station has considering opening a substation in that area and has stepped up patrols, with one person who attended the meeting saying she has seen fewer people engaged in criminal behavior in the park. A report issued Monday by the station showed an overall decline in serious crime on the Eastside in August of this year compared to August 2018.
Bray said she had been at home by herself while her husband was out doing laundry. She got out of the shower and walked into her bedroom and, unclothed and looking through an open bedroom window, saw a man approach the window from the back of the house. “With my hands, I tried to cover myself and screamed at him to go away,” she said in an interview. She said the man yelled ordered her to come out and have sex with him. “Then he was threatening me: ‘I know where you live, I’m going to get you’.”
Bray said the man then came to the front of her building and pressed himself against the screen door. “He was pressing his whole face in my screen and his hands, saying ‘I see you and I’m going to get you’,” she said. She said she ran to the door to make sure that it was locked as he started jingling the handle and pressing against the door.
Bray called 911, “and then I heard the sirens, and he heard the sirens, and he’s hobbling away with a beer can in each hand.”
Bray praised the response of the Sheriff’s deputies. “They found him on Fairfax and picked him up. They drove me over to identify him,” she said, noting that doing that accurately was important to her. “The last thing I will ever do is wrongfully identify a black man in America. I saw exactly what he was wearing.”
The man, identified as Jackie Harrington, 52, was arrested by West Hollywood Sheriff’s deputies and charged with “peeping inside an inhabited dwelling,” trespassing and possession of drug paraphernalia. While a judge issued a “stay away” order demanding that Harrington not approach Bray’s apartment building, he declined to issue an “order of protection” or restraining order, which would bar the man from approaching her.
Bray said that Deputy Parra, who was assigned the case, told her that Harrington had pled “no contest” to charges of peeping into her building and to possession of two crack pipes. The district attorney assigned to the case did not pursue a charge of attempted breaking and entering. As of publication, WEHOville has been unable to determine under what conditions Harrington was released from jail and what next steps might be taken on the trespassing charge.
Soon after the arrest, Bray said, “I found out this guy is back on the street because I went to my Starbucks and he was standing on the street and he was staring at me.”
Lt. William Moulder, who was attending the Public Safety Commission meeting, has urged Bray to again seek a restraining order.
Harrington’s presence in the neighborhood has been a subject of numerous posts on the NextDoor.com site. Stephanie Harker, another Eastside resident, has said that he was caught on video entering a carport and has been accused of shouting profanities at an employee of the local 7-Eleven convenience store and yelling at a bus driver. Kimberly Copeland, an Eastside resident who sits on the city’s Business License Commission, has said the man has been reported “following women into carports and to their apartment buildings for the last few months- peeping in their windows, attempting to get into someapartments, masturbating outside of women’s windows, etc. Numerous videos and photos have been sent to WeHo Sheriff’s Dept.”
Lt. Moulder urged those who see situations like the one that Bray described to report them to the Sheriff’s Department. “When you see something, say something,” he said.