Here’s a video, taken by a correspondent of ours on Friday, October 3, 2014:
He wrote to Captain John Irigoyen of Universal Protective Services, which the Hollywood Media District BID pays to run its safety patrol, asking for their names. Irigoyen asked why our correspondent was asking, and got the following response:
At about 5:45 pm on October 3 I saw the two guys in the picture on their bikes on the sidewalk on the north west corner of Santa Monica and Vine yelling at a man. The man walked across the street to the south west corner and the two bike guys followed him. I followed them while recording their actions with my phone. The man was, by then, standing on the public sidewalk talking to himself. The two bike guys continued to yell at him until, in an effort to get away from them, he walked into the Yoshinoya Beef Bowl. They chased him out and continued to scream at him in the parking lot and escalate the situation until he said something that the bike guy on the left of the picture I sent you decided was a “criminal threat.” As you can see in the video, the left-hand bike guy said “Criminal threats! Keep making them, homeboy.” After consultation with his partner he called the LAPD and reported this to them. The man walked away and the two bike guys followed him west on Santa Monica almost to Hudson yelling at him and chasing him off the sidewalk into traffic, thereby creating a dangerous situation for both drivers and the man they were following. The LAPD evidently declined to pursue the matter since the two bike guys left off following the man and rode off quickly to the west whereas the man turned around and walked back east.
It seems to me that there are two possibilities here. Either Mr. Left Bike Guy understands the criminal threat statute, in which case he would understand that the fact that he was not in fear at any time, proved by his invitation to the man to “Keep making them, homeboy,” so that the statute was not violated, or else he does not understand the statute. If he understands the statute and reported the man to the LAPD anyway it seems to me that he’s guilty of false reporting of a crime. If he does not understand the statute, he’s obviously not competent to be riding around Hollywood on a bike screaming at and threatening people on public sidewalks who are not breaking any laws. The guy either violated the law or doesn’t understand the law and in either case he and his partner should be removed from the safety patrol, since they are manifestly making the streets of this neighborhood less safe.
Less importantly, but still relevant, Mr. Right Bike Guy, who took it on himself to threaten me with arrest by the LAPD if I didn’t stop following him and his partner and filming them, ought to have the concept of public space explained to him.
Our correspondent has not yet heard back, so the two security guys remain anonymous. If you recognize them drop us an email or leave a comment with their names. Perhaps you’ll have better luck than our correspondent did in getting the Captain to talk? You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.