A crowd of over 60 people — many angry and emotional — made up the audience at the Ocean Beach Town Council Meeting on September 26. Most of the people were there to discuss the recent spate of crimes against women in Ocean Beach.
San Diego police officers Dave Surwillo and Lt. Natalie Stone had to defend the police's actions as women accused the police of not doing enough to catch sex-crime perpetrators in the community.
A woman stated she now takes a taxi to go four blocks because she is too scared to walk alone. A different woman claimed there was another attack last night, which, according to many there, puts the number of crimes at seven in the past couple of months.
The police officers claimed there have been seven cases of a peeping tom in the community, but said there have been three sexually motivated attacks in the past couple months, the peeping tom being one of them; but several people said many of the crimes are not being reported.
The officers stated that no one has been caught yet in any case, and only one description and some DNA evidence has come in regarding the peeping tom. Police encouraged people to go online and report an assault or any crime without hesitation, and they said they are being as diligent as possible.
A young man who said he put up posters around O.B. regarding one of the sexual attacks claimed to be the brother of one of the assault victims. He said his sister refuses to talk to police because she does not like the way the case is being handled. He said that he is doing everything he can to catch the guy and will take care of the situation himself if he does find the attacker, regardless of what kind of trouble that might get him in. As he spoke, many women in the crowd cheered.
A woman got up and tearfully spoke of the assault against her (with little detail), but wanted the crowd to know that even though she knows the police are working on it, not enough is being done. She also said too many people are being passive and not reporting many of the crimes.
Many people got up and blamed the homeless and wondered why the police have a policy of just telling them to "move along." The police stated that they have more officers out there than everyone thinks — on foot, on bikes, and in plainclothes.