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Homeless Man Charged With Hate Crime in Santa Monica Assault

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Lookout Staff

July 27, 2021 -- Los Angeles County prosecutors on Tuesday charged a 65-year-old homeless man who allegedly assaulted a Korean woman in Downtown Santa Monica Friday with a hate crime.

The attack took place around 2:15 p.m. on the 1500 block of 2nd Street while the victim parked at a meter, according to Santa Monica Police.

Melvin Taylor
Melvin Taylor (Courtesy SMPD)

Officers arrived "within minutes" and detained the suspect, identified as Melvin Taylor formerly of Compton, said Lt. Rudy Flores, the Police Department spokesman.

The victim told officers she was with her father-in-law and was attempting to pay at a parking meter when Taylor confronted her.

"Taylor asked about her ethnicity and demanded money," Flores said she told police. "When the victim refused to give him money, Taylor became verbally and visibly upset."

The victim tried to get back in her car, but Taylor kicked the car door pinning her against the frame, Flores said.

According to the Los Angeles County District Attorneys Office, "During the attack, the defendant is accused of yelling racial slurs and mentioning the virus while attempting to steal her purse."

The victim was able to pepper spray Taylor, but it had little to no effect, police said.

"Taylor took the victim’s phone and threw it on the ground before unsuccessfully attempting to take her purse," Flores said. "Nearby witnesses intervened to assist the victim before officers arrived. "

Taylor faces one felony count each of attempted second-degree robbery, assault with a deadly weapon -- a car door -- and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. He also faces enhanced penalties for a hate crime.

“A hate crime against one of us is truly a crime against all of us,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a press release Tuesday. “I am committed to stopping hate in our community.”

Friday's incident was the second hate crime reported in Santa Monica this year, according to police. There were ten reported hate crimes last year and four in 2019.

Anyone who has more information related to this incident should call Detective Burciaga with the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) at (310) 458-8932 or by email at

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