LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A top city official Tuesday called for more security in Griffith Park in the wake of an assault that left one victim severely injured.
City Councilman Tom LaBonge, whose district includes Griffith Park, told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that budget cuts have reduced the city-wide force of park rangers by more than half from about 42 down to fewer than 20.
LaBonge said more rangers on patrol may have prevented the attack, which was reported around 2:30 p.m. Monday after a man was found with severe injuries to his face on the 2200 block of Fern Dell Place near Red Oak Drive.
He remained hospitalized in critical condition at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in an intensive care unit for treatment of blunt force trauma injuries, according to LAPD Sgt. Wayne Guillary.
Police arrested Tyrone Contino Isumu, 54, around 7:30 p.m. Monday. He was booked on suspicion of attempted murder, with bail set at $500,000, according to the sheriff’s department.
A motive for the attack remained unknown. Both the victim and Isumu apparently frequented a homeless encampment, and they became involved in a dispute that led to the attack, police said.
In the meantime, LaBonge said he will continue pushing for the city to hire more park rangers in the near future.
“The rangers are our park representatives in the natural wilderness…of Griffith Park, so this is something we all have to work on,” he said. “I’ll be fighting for it next April in the budget deliberations.”
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