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LA City Councilwoman says crime is making residents 'sick and tired of feeling unsafe'

LA City Councilwoman says crime is making residents 'sick and tired of feeling unsafe'
LA City Councilwoman says crime is making residents 'sick and tired of feeling unsafe' 03:46

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Traci Park lashed out Thursday at the problem of public safety in the city, blaming "catch-and-release" and "criminals-are-the-victims" policies for making the city unsafe.

Speaking at a news conference, she said crimes like the brutal attacks of two women at the Venice Canals are unacceptable. 

"People in the city of Los Angeles are sick and tired of feeling unsafe," she said. "No woman, no visitor, no family should be unsafe walking in any neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles, much less our city's number one tourist destination," she said. "Our businesses are being pushed to the brink and consumers are paying for it."

The first incident happened around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, in the 2700 block of Strongs Drive, when the suspect approached a woman walking from behind and hit her over the head with a hard object, knocking her out.  

About an hour later, the second woman was attacked in a "similar fashion" near the Sherman Canal, police said. Both victims sustained significant injuries.

Park said there are "unstable and potentially dangerous" people roaming the streets, and said Los Angeles "is getting a bad reputation."

"This time it was two innocent women minding their own business just walking through the canals," Park said. "It could have been any one of us -- your neighbor, your colleague, your friend, your sister, your wife. It is time that we get serious about public safety in Los Angeles."

Anthony Jones, 29, was arrested Thursday night in San Diego. Jones is suspected of hitting the women with a hard object, leaving them both unconscious. Police also said there was a sexual aspect to the attacks, but no other details were released.

"I am proud of the tireless work and dedication to public safety demonstrated by all involved in this case, especially our specialized detectives," LAPD Chief Dominic Choi said in a statement. "I thank Councilwoman Park for her unwavering support, continually working together to ensure the safety of our communities.  The people of Los Angeles are safer today because this predator is in custody."

According to jail records, Jones was being held in lieu of $3.25 million bail.

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