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Assault & Battery

Assault, Possible Hate Crime in Whole Foods Parking Lot

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A possible hate crime occurred last night in the parking lot of the Whole Foods Market at 3rd and Fairfax, across from The Grove.

Felix Velazquez, the victim, told Weho Daily that he was walking though the parking lot and into the store when he heard some shouting. Before he could ascertain what it was all about, he was jumped and attacked by some men. He said that he had no idea what prompted the men to attack him, and that they had no interaction prior to the altercation.

Felix Velazquez talks to LAPD officers along with witnesses to the attack. (Photo: Chad Rogers for Weho Daily)

Witnesses reported that a black Lexus had stopped and the men were attacking Velazquez while yelling homophobic slurs. They then jumped back into the vehicle and attempted to flee the scene, but were blocked for a short time by witnesses who took photos and wrote down the vehicle license plate number.

Chad Rogers, a celebrity real estate agent, said, “When I came back out a minute later, a black female in a very heroic act jumped in front of the Lexus and started yelling ‘you are not getting past me’ as she wanted to keep the Lexus there long enough for someone to write down the license plate number.”

“I wrote the plate down during this time,” Rogers continued. “The girl asked if people got the plate number and a handful of people said they did. She then moved away from the car and the Lexus sped off.”

The incident occurred just after 10PM, and LAPD officers were dispatched along with Fire and Rescue personnel at about 10:20PM. The Fire and Rescue personnel were on the scene within a few minutes, but police didn’t arrive until after 11PM. At that point, the Fire Department had already left the scene.

Police on the scene of the attack in the parking lot of Whole Foods. (Photo: Chad Rogers for Weho Daily)

Initial reports to police said there were three male Hispanic suspects. Rogers said that he wasn’t sure if the suspects were Hispanic or Middle Eastern.

Rogers said that many of the witnesses were upset that the security in the parking lot didn’t intervene in the attack, and that a security officer had observed the incident.

Velazquez suffered blows to the head and body as he was thrown to the ground, with more profound pain setting in overnight after the adrenaline from the situation subsided.

Despite his injuries, he was able to express his gratitude to those who had tried to help him, and to the fire department personnel who came to attend to his injuries. Velazquez offered them all gifts of the luxury soap his company, Soaptopia, produces and sells though stores, including Whole Foods.

Weho Daily became aware of the incident as LAPD officers were initially dispatched, although few details were available at that time. While waiting for more information from the police, we started hearing from our readers that Rogers was a witness on the scene and was posting details to his Twitter account.

Witnesses of the assault and possible hate crime at Whole Foods, along with the victim, Felix Velazquez. (Photo: Chad Rogers for Weho Daily)

“It was taking the police a very long time to show up, so I did the first thing that I knew would get attention for this violent act,” he said. “I went onto my Twitter and tweeted my 17,800 followers to call the news. Next thing I knew you [Weho Daily] tweeted me back to get the details. My amazing Twitter followers not only called the news but also called the police numerous time to get them to the crime scene as fast a possible.”

The witnesses became acquainted with one another and Velazquez while waiting for police to arrive. They exchanged phone numbers and plan to get together at a future date, perhaps over drinks at the invitation of Velazquez.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Liam

    January 30, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    This make me so sad that this stuff goes on and the police take over an hour to show up! Please follow up on this story if they ever make an arrest!

  2. SWC

    January 30, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    So great to see Social Networks, like that of Celebrity Real Estate Expert Chad Rogers, being utilized to help those in a time of desperate need.

    What a heroic act by everyone involved from average citizens to celebrities! Glad to see everyone working together!!!

  3. question

    January 30, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    How was the call dispatched? My bet is on the dispatcher misclassifying it as a disturbance or a fistfight between mutual combatants instead of a violent assault.

  4. admin

    January 30, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    The call was dispatched as an assault with deadly weapon with ambulance responding, with the weapon being a GUN (though the gun part later turned out to be incorrect, and was updated by LAPD dispatcher to say that nobody had actually seen the alleged gun). As far as I can tell, if LAPD doesn’t think that there are suspects still at a crime scene or in the area, it seems to get low priority.

  5. question

    January 30, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    It took an hour to get officers to a call of an assault with a deadly weapon!?!?!? The LAPD has some serious explaining to do.

  6. Krissie

    January 30, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    The LAPD seem to take forever even when something is obviously urgent. There was a shooting right outside of my apartment building a month or so ago, and it took them about an hour to get here and then they didn’t even do anything.

  7. Pam

    January 30, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    Chad, Starla and others are a blessing! We need more people like this in our communities. Although I don’t know Chad personally, he seems to be a very stand up guy! Thank you to all involved in getting Felix help!

  8. Timmy

    January 30, 2011 at 9:45 PM

    The guy on the far right is HOTTT!!!

  9. Fiona

    January 30, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    Wow is that Sabrina Taylor. She organized the West Hollywood Pride Parade and used to be the regional director for GLAAD. It’s nice to see that she is still an activist. Felix was blessed to have the right people present at the right time!

  10. Felix Velazquez

    January 30, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    This is Felix. I want to thank everyone who cared enough to read this article and show your concern. Bad thing happen and people try to spread hate but I believe there are always angels who step in and do the right thing even at risk to their own safety. I want to tell Marcia, Diana, Sabrina and Chad that you were MY angels yesterday and I will never forget what you did for me. Chad thank you so much for raising awareness in the gay community and everyone for tweeting and retweeting this. I plan to pursue justice not just for my sake but for the sake of others who have been victims of hate.

  11. Brian Hamilton

    January 31, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    Felix, I am so sorry this happened to you. The perps will be caught, all in good time. Glad to hear about so many caring people thinking quickly and getting involved to help someone in need–and using social media resources to connect. Let’s all continue to stay aware and support one another in our community.

  12. Chad Rogers

    January 31, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    I am glad that we were all there to help you Felix. I hope that you feel better very soon and we can all go out for drinks. I know that justice will be served and your attacker will pay the price for what he did to you. It’s amazing to see the love from all of the people who have tweeted me and retweeted this story. It just shows that there are many good hearted people out there in our world! As a result of last night I met 9 new friends including you.

  13. Cherie

    January 31, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Wow for women to jump in the middle like that shows there are a lot of good people in la. I met Sabrina when she was at Outfest really really sweet girl and I’m a huge fan of Chad’s. Feliz made some high quality friends for life. What has Whole Foods said?

  14. Diana Dale

    January 31, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    Thank you WeHo for taking note and acknowledging this act of hate & making people aware of what is going on in the world today. I am the “heroic black girl” who intervened the incident by stepping in between Felix & the attackers while my friends Sabrina Taylor & Marsha Goolcharan (not pictured), along with others called the police. We were collectively heroic & send our love to Felix…our new friend & family!!

  15. Chad Rogers

    January 31, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Diana- You were truly amazing that night. You are a true heroine!!! Please add me on Facebook or Twitter as I want to stay in touch with you. We all need to get drinks with Felix soon 😉

  16. Dr. Smiles

    February 1, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    Who’s that hottt guy on the far right with the great smile.
    One would think the witnesses pose would be more of a serious photo
    So sorry to hear of this shocking incident Felix. Wish I had known sooner.

  17. Voltaire

    February 1, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    WOW!!! This is AWESOME news!!! Way to go to Sabrina and the other courageous bystanders who helped Felix. I am inspired by your courageous act at Whole Foods in LA to stop this hate crime from occurring. ROCK ON!

  18. Michael

    February 2, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Interesting story, glad to see no one was seriously hurt. Velazquez looks drunk.

  19. Liars

    February 4, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    As fake as Chad Rogers wig. I was there that night and all I saw was a publicity stunt. There was no car that sped off. No violence at all. No cop ever showed up. Do these people posing for a photo look like they just saw a “hate crime”. Fuck no! Hollywood is full of scum and liars.

  20. tweeterpie

    February 5, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    I only wish MORE people would step in and get involved like in this situation. I always thought Chad Roger was a pretty standup guy and now I know for sure. Glad to see my instincts are still right on target. I am also very thankful that nobody was seriously hurt.

  21. admin

    February 7, 2011 at 9:05 AM

    To “Liars” comment… how do you explain the photos of police at the scene talking to the witnesses and victim?

  22. Julie

    July 21, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    So someone has the license plate number. Has there been an arrest yet? If it’s true that the security guard did nothing while Felix was assaulted, has Whole Foods questioned him? And why did it take 40 minutes for the police to show up?! My thoughts are with you, Felix, and I hope you heal quickly! Major props to that woman who ran in front of that Lexus.

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Assault & Battery

Santa Monica Architect Stabbed in Expo Line Altercation

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Photo: Sam Catanzaro.

By Toi Creel

West Los Angeles (SM Mirror) — Four minors have been taken into custody after a Santa Monica man was stabbed in a violent confrontation on the Expo Line in West Los Angeles.

The incident occurred on the Metro E (Expo) Line Tuesday night at around 8:30 PM.

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Assault & Battery

Brother of Bezos’ Girlfriend is Allegedly Attacked in WeHo

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Brother of Jeff Bezos girlfriend attacked by man screaming ‘f**k you’ just days after filing lawsuit against Amazon boss

WEST HOLLYWOOD (The Sun) — THE BROTHER of Jeff Bezos’ girlfriend was attacked in the street by a man who threatened to kill him and whacked him with a bike – just days after filing a defamation lawsuit against the Amazon chief.

Michael Sanchez, 54, was approached by a man on a bike screaming: “F**k you” and “Don’t ignore me” before the suspect picked up the bike and struck him with it, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s report, obtained by The Sun. Michael Sanchez filed a police report about the alleged attack The suspect also allegedly screamed “I’m going to kill you” according to onlookers to the incident, which took place in West Hollywood on February 5.

The alleged attack happened just days after Sanchez […]

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 Police report from the Los Angeles Sheriff's department obtained by The Sun
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