A group of Venice Beach, California, residents gave warning to city leadership they could be responsible for multimillion-dollar legal suit damages for not imposing laws restricting overnight homeless encampments.
According to a report from KABC-TV, a lawyer for the Venice Stakeholders Association has sent a letter to many “City of Los Angeles” offices earlier this week on behalf of residents worried that “transient-related fires” could once again jump to personal properties.
Residents are concerned that the fires could spread to their houses or businesses, leading to destroying structures and tenants’ possessions and putting a serious threat of personal injury or even death.
The letter reads “There will be no question that the city had been warned of this danger,” claiming that should a fire spread to homes, the city could be responsible if it keeps failing to impose the overnight curfew regulation and pull-out tents, encampments, and other personal belongings.
Mark Ryavec, president of the association, explained “We’re putting the city on notice that if there is a loss of life,” adding further “they are clearly already negligent and they already face a huge settlement.”
His comments arrive as Los Angeles is all prepared to organize the Super Bowl on Sunday.
2 Homeless Men Caught on CCTV
Two homeless men were captured on surveillance cameras earlier this week reportedly lighting fire to 15 trash cans around the boardwalk overnight and putting a cardboard box on fire, damaging a park bench.
Since then, residents have raised worries of a repeat of a January 2021 incident where a fire at a homeless encampment spread to a vacant two-story building. The enormous blaze took more than 200 firefighters to put out, the structure was destroyed, and the owner is suing Los Angeles.
This week, in a separate interview with KTLA, Ryavec said “We’re very, very concerned that one of these is going to jump to a building, and God forbid it jumps to a building that has people living in it,” adding further “A lot of these second stories here are all apartments, and many of them are old wooden structures.”
70 Homeless Campers Still Live on the Boardwalk
Over 200 homeless campers were removed from Venice Beach in a major operation this summer, but the Venice Stakeholders Association stated that nearly 70 people continue to live on the boardwalk.
Ryavec told KTLA of city leadership “They never finished the job,” adding further “They never got the last 70. They never got them either in psychiatric care or the meds, the rehab, the housing, whatever it is they still need, they just gave up and declared victory, and it wasn’t over.”
A December poll held by the Los Angeles Business Council and the Los Angeles Times discovered about 4 in 10 voters claimed homeless people in their neighborhood made them feel immensely insecure.
Ryavec acknowledged the boardwalk has evolved during the day, but at night it is a different story.
According to a report from KABC, Los Angeles Police Department and sanitation crews arrive every Thursday to remove campers, but Ryavec claims that the present circumstance assures them to come more often, a minimum of three times a week, to lower the safety concerns imposed due to overnight campers.
Ryavec said “It’s illegal to camp on Venice Beach,” adding further “And we want that message established by enforcement of the rules that exist.”
In addition to the homeless encampment, crime linked with the boardwalk has stayed a concern.
Tourist Shot and Robbed in Florida
On Wednesday, a tourist from Florida was shot in a leg and robbed when a group of masked men approached him and his girlfriend as they walked from Venice Beach back to their rental car, according to reports from Fox 11 of Los Angeles.
The thieves ran off with his watch and escaped in another vehicle. The man was rushed to a hospital, but his condition was not immediately known.