Homeless Man Charged With Hate Crime For Attacking Korean Woman In Santa Monica For Her Purse

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The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against Melvin Taylor, a 65-year-old homeless male, originally from Compton, for his involvement in an attempted robbery and assault against an Asian woman.

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

On July 23rd, 2021 at about 2:15 PM, Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) Officers responded to investigate an in-progress assault and battery in the 1500 block of 2nd Street. Officers arrived within minutes and immediately detained Taylor.

The victim explained to officers that she was with her father-in-law and was attempting to pay at a parking meter when she was confronted by Taylor. Taylor asked about her ethnicity and demanded money. When the victim refused to give him money, Taylor became verbally and visibly upset. When the victim attempted to get back into her car, Taylor kicked the car door causing the victim to be pinned between the door and frame of the vehicle. Taylor continued to strike her while yelling racial slurs. The victim was able to pepper spray Taylor, however it had little to no effect. Taylor took the victim’s phone and threw it on the ground before unsuccessfully attempting to take her purse. Nearby witnesses intervened to assist the victim before officers arrived.

This morning, the Los Angeles County’s District Attorney’s Office charged Taylor with the following:
• 664/211 PC – Attempted Robbery
• 245(a)(1) PC – Assault with a Deadly Weapon
• 245(a)(4) PC – Assault likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury
• 422.75(a) PC – Hate Crime allegation enhancement

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