Homeless & Violent

Brenna Hankla

My husband had just finished buying dog food at Centinela Pet store near the traffic circle yesterday and was in his car getting ready to leave. He noticed a man walking on the walkway in front of the stores with a little boy (about 6 or 7) and a little girl. He also noticed a obviously mentally ill homeless woman (white with shoulder length hair about 60ish years old) walking toward the family.

She was dressed in pajamas, a robe and wearing slippers and she was talking/yelling to herself. The dad was about a step ahead of the kids. As the woman passed the family, my husband saw her smack the little boy on the back of the head with the back of her hand ... hard.

The little boy started to cry and my husband yelled out to the dad what he just saw and the dad turned around and yelled at the lady first and then called 911. Police came in less than five minutes, which was absolutely amazing and my husband said they were awesome and professional and handled the situation as best as they could. BUT ... the options available to them in this situation are not enough. They explained that this was a misdemeanor assault and that is just a citation. If they did that, she would be immediately let go right there and would probably never show in court.

Or, since she told one of the cops to “kill me, shoot me” she qualified for a 5150 hold to get help. They asked the dad what he wanted to do and he and the boy chose to get her help. This means she’ll be off the street for three days but she’ll be back out there possibly committing other violent acts against some other person by early next week. And, this also means that this incident won’t get counted as an assault towards crime incident counts. They didn’t take a report and didn’t take my husband’s info even though he is the person that witnessed the incident.

 Long Beach and California need to figure out other options to get any mentally ill homeless person off the streets permanently. This is absolutely wrong that this woman who hit a kid is going to be walking around Long Beach again in just a few days.

If you think this is as nuts as I do, please write our mayor and/or your council person and/or the governor to let them know. Also, please be safe out there. Make note of your surroundings at all times and give the obviously mentally ill homeless a wide berth. I have seen too many news stories about mentally ill homeless people committing acts of violence against people in the past couple of years and it’s getting more and more prevalent all the time.



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