SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — It was a nasty attack caught on camera inside a McDonald’s
The fight broke out between a security officer and at least two homeless men, police said.
Others jumped in and the violence went on for several minutes.
It didn’t take long for things to escalate once the security guard asked the two sleeping homeless men to leave the McDonald’s on the corner of Colorado Avenue and 2nd Street in Santa Monica shortly before 4 a.m. Wednesday.
The security guard tried to mace one of the alleged attackers while other customers jumped in to help the guard.
The fight spilled onto the sidewalk but it didn’t end there. The fight moved back inside, where the guard continued to take punches until police arrived.
A Santa Monica Bike Center employee says she’s not surprised. The bike shop is across the street from the McDonald’s. She says most of the surrounding businesses have had their own struggles with violence and crime committed by homeless people.
Santa Monica Police say they ramp up patrols in this area every summer after the Fourth of July to deal with the increase in tourists and homeless people.
Mark Prague is homeless, and admits the 24 hour McDonald’s is a refuge from the streets in this area.
“This is the only place everybody’s got to come,” he said.
The bike center employee says this McDonald’s needs to shut down overnight or the problems will continue.
“It’s unfair to workers. They don’t get paid enough to deal with that,” she said. “Especially for security guards. It’s not safe.”
Santa Monica police said the security guard had a few cuts and bruises and will be OK. One of the alleged attackers will be charged with assault with a deadly weapon for grabbing the security guard’s baton during the fight.