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Police Chief Addresses Assault on Six-Year-Old Girl


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By Lookout Staff

March 13, 2024 -- Police Chief Ramon Batista on Wednesday denounced Sunday's assault on a six-year-old girl on Main Street as "an affront to public safety" and said detectives are "working hard" to arrest the suspect.

The Chief's message comes after the Santa Monica Police Department "received several media requests" related to the assault that took place near the intersection of Marine Avenue at around 7 p.m.

The suspect was sitting on a bus bench and "acting erratically" when the girl and her parents walked behind him, police said.

"The suspect spun around and struck the child causing her to fall to the ground," said Lt. Erika Aklufi, the Police Department spokesperson.

The child was not seriously injured, and the suspect "fled northbound on Main Street and out of sight" and has not been apprehended, Aklufi said.

The suspect -- who has not been confirmed as homeless -- is described as a Black male, approximately 6' 1' tall, 30 to 35 years old and wearing a black jacket and blue jeans.

“An incident like this one is an affront to public safety and will not be tolerated," Chief Batista said in a video posted Wednesday on YouTube. "Even more so that a child was involved.

"Any crime committed in Santa Monica is a crime too many," he said. "Our department stands strong in the face of anyone who chooses to victimize those who are in this city."

Batista said detectives are working "to uncover more details of the incident and identify and apprehend the suspect.

"We appreciate our partnership with our community, relying on our residents, business owners and visitors to provide us with information about criminal behavior," he said.

The Department is continuing to deploy specialized uniformed officers on Main Street and in the Downtown area, Batista said.

"Our goal is to be proactive and present, providing safety and security to our residents and visitors," he said.

The Department also is deploying its Homeless Liaison Program Team of police officers and a mental health clinician "to provide much needed resources to those experiencing homelessness," Batista said.

"Our efforts, combined with the Therapeutic Transport Team and the Salvation Army, provide us a platform to redouble our efforts to connect individuals with treatment and shelter,” he said.

Several recent crimes involving Santa Monica's highly visible homeless population have garnered media attention.

On February 29, a homeless man on parole was charged with burglary and indecent exposure after breaking into a house in Ocean Park at around 2:10 a.m. and masturbating next to the victim's bed ("Parolee Arrested for Burglary, Attempted Rape," March 4, 2024).

The incident took place one month after a homeless woman responsible for violent crimes in Los Angeles was charged with the murder of a 46-year-old man in Sunset Park on January 25 ("Sunset Park Shooter Charged with Murder," January 30, 2024).

Anyone with information related to Sunday's incident or the suspect should email Detective Diaz and or Detective Sergeant Goodwin at, or call the Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8427.

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