VENICE (CBSLA.com) — Residents in Venice have filed a lawsuit against the city and county of Los Angeles over what they say is a “lawless Skid Row” around the beach boardwalk.
The lawsuit filed by the Venice Stakeholders Association claims authorities are failing to enforce “no camping” laws, which has created ” a public nuisance and dangerous conditions” in one of L.A.’s most popular tourist stops.
Mark Ryavec, the president of the Venice Stakeholders Association, told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that the lack of enforcement has spurred more physical attacks by drug-addicted and mentally ill homeless people.
“It is not acceptable, and that’s why we’re suing, because frankly, nobody is listening,” said Ryavec.
The lawsuit cites recent incidents in Venice that resulted in death or injury, including the death of a young Italian woman who was on her honeymoon in the summer of 2013 when she was run down on the boardwalk by a meth-addicted transient in his car.
Ryavec believes officials have a double standard when it comes to public safety in Venice compared with other beach cities.
“It is only at the Venice Beach Recreation Area and on adjoining streets that a lawless Skid Row encampment, open drug sales and use, loud late-night noise, and public inebriation, urination and defecation is routinely permitted,” Ryavec said. “This is not tolerated elsewhere in Los Angeles or in other beach cities along Santa Monica Bay.”
In response to the lawsuit, City Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents the area, is calling for stepped-up police patrols in the area.