Homophobic Obscenities Shouted by Black Men Lead to a Crash on Waring and Questions about the LAPD

An allegedly homophobic incident on Waring Avenue on Sunday resulted in the injury of a young man riding his scooter and also an angry exchange on the NextDoor neighborhood website that included allegations of racism and homophobia.  The incident also called out the difficulty residents have reaching the Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire Division, which patrols the area south of West Hollywood, and where no one answers the telephone.

At about 5:30 p.m. on Sunday a young white man, who discussed the incident with WEHOville on the condition that his name wouldn’t be disclosed, was riding his scooter on Waring Avenue when four Black men in a white Mercedes drove by and yelled homophobic obscenities at him and threw eggs at him, hitting him in the head. Two people on the scene, one of whom lives on Waring, confirmed the incident.

The man lost control over his scooter as he tried to escape the men in the Mercedes and tried to avoid hitting another car. He fell to the ground and injured himself. Emergency medical technicians and an LAPD officer arrived on the scene.

“I do not know why I was targeted, chased, etc,” the man said in an exchange of text messages with WEHOville. “I know I was yelled at. I didn’t hear what was said. I have nothing on my moped that identifies me, my beliefs, or anything. It is a bright yellow scooter and I was wearing yellow, so attention might be expected a bit, but no idea why I was targeted.”

The person who lives on Waring said in a NextDoor post that the incident happened in front of her house. “I didn’t see the man crash but heard it and looked outside in time to see the four guys in a white Mercedes telling the driver to “Back up, back up!” There was a police officer who responded; I told him it was a white Mercedes and there were likely people with security cameras along Waring that they could use to find the vehicle, but he just asked me if I got a plate number and then basically shrugged and said “He’ll be OK” about the Vespa rider.”

Another man on the scene, who stopped with his wife to help the injured man, posted on NextDoor that the young man “was riding his yellow Vespa when a white car containing four Black men starting shouting homophobic obscenities at him and throwing eggs at him. He was hit by many eggs in the head, back and Vespa. While speeding and trying to get away from these thugs he crashed his Vespa on Waring Avenue close to Martel. He is suffering serious injuries to his leg and body. His brand-new custom Vespa is also badly damaged.

“Not that it matters, but this man was not even gay. He just likes yellow Vespas, and people should not be stereotyped like that or treated like that for their personal sexual preference. The four Black men hit it in reverse and drove off almost hitting a girl walking her dog when they caused him to crash. They were laughing and celebrating on their way out.”

That commenter noted that one of the Black men wore corn rows, and he referenced Black Lives Matter protests in the Melrose neighborhood in June to say the residents needed to “take back” their neighborhood. Another man said “You can’t cure hate (killing of George Floyd) with more hate (BLM riots/looting/vandalizing) & the assault of the guy on the Vespa. That’s just stupid. This is all designed to divide and conquer us.”

Those remarks sparks claims from some that the other commenters were racists. NextDoor actually removed the original comment from the man who mentioned Black Lives Matter.

The commenters on all sides of the debate about racism did express concern for the injured young man, who told WEHOville that he is recovering well. However, he has found it difficult to get any information from the Wilshire Division as to what, if anything, they are doing about the incident.

He told WEHOville that he had been told he would receive a report of the incident, which he could use to file an insurance claim regarding the damage to his scooter. WEHOville made more than a dozen telephone calls in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to get someone at the Wilshire Division to answer the telephone.  Eventually a call to the LAPD’s communications division was answered by a woman who said there was no record of the incident.  It was only after that when WEHOville learned the identity of the injured young man and called back to inquire again. Another woman answered the phone and said she would check and respond in 20 minutes. She never did. Several hours later WEHOville made another call that was answered by a man who said that the injured man would have to contact the Wilshire Division to file a report.

The injured man made numerous calls to the Wilshire Division on Tuesday to inquire about a report and left messages but got no response. Today he made another call and was transferred to another line where someone told him that the responding officer had concluded the investigation. If the injured man wanted any more action, he would have to send more information to the Wilshire Division and go through a process to obtain an incident report.

In researching the incident, WEHOville made numerous calls to 877-ASK-LAPD, a number to which one is referred when calling the Wilshire Division or the LAPD itself. That results in a long rambling lists of options for numbers to press, which repeats over and over while one is on hold, interrupted frequently by piercing loud sounds that apparently are meant to transfer information to a device for those who are hard of hearing.

The inability to contact the LAPD, often even by dialing 911, which is only to be used to report serious crime incidents, was recently cited in a column titled “City of LA: Pick Up the Damn Phone,” published in CityWatch LA

Bob Gelfand, a longtime writer for CityWatch LA, wrote that his effort to call a different police station using that number was “a weird and frustrating experience because I never got through, not even after more than 20 minutes (probably closer to 30) of recorded announcements, jangling tones, and waiting, followed by a repeat of all of the above, and another repeat, and yet another.”

Gelfand said that when he attended a recent Community Police Advisory Board meeting others said they had experienced the same problem, sometimes being on hold for as long as 30 minutes.

The injured young man said he is doing okay. He said he was very thankful to those who came to his rescue when his scooter crashed. “I just can’t stress enough how much I appreciated the people who came to my aid in SECONDS,” he said. “Strangers sprang into actions.”

As to whether the Wilshire Division is investigating the incident or trying to identify the men in the Mercedes who forced the young man to crash his scooter, there doesn’t seem to be any way to find out.


36 Comments
  1. BEFORE CLEANING OTHER CITIES PROBLEMS

    TAKE CARE OF THE SAME AND WORST OBSENITIES AND PREJUDICIAL REFUSAL TO TAKE WEHO LAW ENFORCEMENTS SWORN OBLIGATION AND PAID DUTY TO FOR THE VICTIMS (my own for years & years) against gay residents our law enforcement has been hateful against and choosing homophobic systemic feeling in the local department, with hate speech, refusal to even take a felony police report, and to active harass me and others in our homes repeatedly. July 26, 2020 was the latest incident. All on security cameras.. But nowhere but a law suit to stop our CITY LAW ENFORCEMENT to stop decades of harmful inaction and harmful harassment for no reason.
    I filed a formal report if the city of weho cares about homophic and abusive officers not protecting, and focusing on their homophobic actions.

  2. It was my understanding, Mayor Eric Garcetti is basically asking the police to do nothing. That was true the first night of the riots. At the demonstrationd located in front of the Laugh Factory there were never any police there. There were private security guards and they were paod by the Revolutionary Communist Party USA who were sponsoring the Black Lives Matter events. Obviously, the citizens of this area are not running it but a lot of politically corrupt politicians.

    1. Unfortunate misinformation.

      The LAPD was there on May 1 @ The Laugh Factory as well as the WH Sheriff and the National Guard. All was quiet

  3. Isn’t this Councilmember Koretz’ district? Call his office and complain.
    Oh, wait … you’ll wait longer for him to do something than you’ve waited for LAPD…

    1. There is a way to get through to him. Go to his webpage, and email or call every deputy he has. Doesn’t matter what they are deputy for. The word will get around the office.

  4. Something the police are actually needed for, and they can’t even do that right. We need a trained community safety team to respond to incidents like this. This was a violent hate crime.

      1. But throwing eggs resulted in personal injury and the destruction of property. The element of surprise and because the victim didn’t know what may be coming next he instinctively reacted and was hurt.

    1. The Sheriff’s Department has its own issues. County Sheriff Villanueva is corrupt, opaque, and arrogant, which is why the L.A. County Board of Supervisors has reduced the scope of his duties.

      Unfortunately I have found some of his deputies’ behavior to be somewhat similar
      when I have sought their assistance, or even when I have attempted to assist them in their mission.

      In theory they are contracted to work for us but at times it sure doesn’t feel like that. I have experienced multiple delayed responses, including one to a forced entry with the felon perpetrator present.

      In that same incident a deputy would not provide an incident # when specifically asked for one.

      There are many fine deputies serving the county and WeHo- I hope the WeHo City Council will review and enhance their oversight as it does not appear that the LAPD under Chief Michael Moore offers a compelling alternative.

    2. I’m not so sure about that, Jim Nasium. Although not a violent crime, I had my identity stolen by my tax preparer, who also lives in WeHo (on Palm) and it has cost me thousands of dollars so far, with more to come. The sheriff’s department has done NOTHING but take my report and appease me. I have done the research to find all kinds of things on this guy and presented it to the detectives, and they just say they will look into it and get back to me, but they never do. The only contact I have with them is initiated by me. I am very, very disappointed in the Sheriff’s department.

      1. I represented a local WeHo business that had a similar experience. An employee admitted to stealing $40,000.00 but the Sheriff refused to make a report or arrest her saying it was a “civil matter”. She disappeared as soon as she was served with a civil lawsuit and now my client has judgment worth nothing. Had criminal charges been allowed he may have gotten at least some of his money.

        1. Do I have any leverage, Steve Martin? Is there any way I can get some action from the Sheriff’s office? If they’re not going to do anything I wish they would just tell me that instead of appeasing me as if they intend to “get to it as soon as things calm down around here.”

        2. HOW is the contracted Sheriff’s Department NOT taking a report of a theft of $40,000? How is taxpayer money going to them for “law enforcement” when they are not following the law? And yet they give bullsh-t tickets for minor pedestrian or traffic infractions that are no threat to public safety? Since WHEN (Trump era) is STEALING $40,000 not a crime? And WHY is the Sheriff’s Department in West Hollywood not, as of now, a pile of smoldering ruins in retaliation? Come on, people. RISE UP. If they Sheriff’s Department won’t do their job when there is theft, FORCE THEM to. They ought to take a report and do an investigation when 40 CENTS is taken out of a car by valet parking. We must STOP the lawlessness that the Trump Era has fostered! RISE UP!

      2. Um, if there is a “tax preparer” on Palm who is stealing people’s identities and causing thousands of dollars in harm, you need to NAME NAMES. That is a serious crime. Don’t be so polite. Nail that guy to the wall.

          1. Patriot, I’m told that because he hasn’t even been questioned by deputies, much less indicted or convicted, I could be the one who gets in trouble for publicly accusing him.

    3. Thanks for your comments and please be advised that our WeHo Sheriffs will give you an incident report while still on the scene if you request one. They also answer their phones.

      1. ruth, i must disagree with you. not under villanueva, but another captain, i called at least 5 times telling them someone was setting my neighbors house on fire. he then moved onto cars trying to burn them. i stood more than 1.5 hours. with a neighbor waiting. no one came, however it was reported that they did come and saw nothing. i have not called under this new captain. i will however tell you, that the majority of people in my neighborhood do not believe the sheriffs will come for anything. it is very sad, how over 25 years i have watched confidence in the sheriff’s dept falter.

    1. I’ve grown cynical enough to sincerely believe that most these protesters are just joining the crowd because they are bored, their lives lack meaning, and it gives them something to do.

  5. Calling 911 is perfectly understandable if someone is throwing stuff from moving vehicles at people. If anyone is under an actual attack or witness an attack should not feel discouraged from calling 911.

    And it is true that there can be cameras and videos, the LAPD will not bother to examine or ask for (unless a murder is involved). They don’t even want to bother with rape victims, so this isn’t a surprise.

    The inability to get someone by calling 911 is not uncommon in the past few decades. I know from experience. It nothing new, but likely to get worse

    1. Yes. I have never seen the LAPD actually investigate anything and I’ve been involved in a couple incidents. And I have asked them why not when I finally get their attention, usually by going to the station in person, and the answers have always been a bit outrageous.

    2. This is wrong. It should be mandatory for the police to request the video in the area if a crime has been reported there, it should be standard procedure. Maybe the gun advocates do have the right idea when it comes to being able to carry a gun. This man on the scooter would have been justified shooting those who assaulted him and then let the police clean it up.

      1. Exactly. If the cops won’t do their jobs, vigilantes will. Vigilante Justice is still justice. RISE UP. Still, if we pay taxes for law enforcement (and the salaries that these generally low-grades GED cops get) we should get law enforcement. How did The People get SO complacent that they allow crimes to happen to them without the police investigating and service Justice? LAZY people. RISE UP. If the police won’t do their job, FORCE THEM. And VOTE OUT any politician who won’t demand this.

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