LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A 63-year-old Good Samaritan who was attacked by taggers in January was denied assistance from a victim compensation fund.
Arthur Tobias said he confronted a group of six or seven vandals on Jan. 13 in his West Adams neighborhood.
“I walked up to them. I essentially said, ‘You stop doing that,’” he said.
The group instantly turned on Tobias. One hit him in the head with a bottle. The other swiped a knife at him and a third pulled out a gun.
“I saw motion at his waistband, and his hand came up, and there was a flash and a bang,” said Tobias.
The high school art teacher and college adjunct professor was shot in the shoulder.
“I began shouting, ‘Help, police!’ And they ran away laughing,” he said.
Tobias, who moved to the area 22 years ago, was known in the neighborhood for picking up trash and cleaning up gang graffiti.
“I like living in a nice neighborhood, a nice environment, I want to be part of making it that way,” he said.
Tobias, however, said when he applied for funding to help with medical costs from the California Victim Compensation Program, he was rejected.
The letter stated, in part, “The conduct of the victim was negligent and placed him in a position to be injured or victimized.”
“To me, this is just saying, ‘Don’t be a citizen. Don’t exercise your responsibility,’” he said.
When contacted by KCAL9, the program said they want to review Tobias’ claim again. They said he can file an appeal in the meantime.