A 41-year-old homeless man in search of a cigarette was arrested Wednesday, March 27 after punching a taxi driver in the face who was willing to let the man finish half of his last cigarette.
At 4:26 am officers of the Santa Monica Police Department were called out to the 1100 block of Ocean Avenue after they had received a report of an assault.
When the officers arrived they spoke with the victim – a taxi driver.
The taxi driver told the officers he had been standing next to his parked cab outside the Fairmont Hotel enjoying a cigarette when the suspect approached him.
The taxi driver told officer the suspect had asked him for a cigarette, and that he had responded by telling the suspect that he could not do this as the one that he was smoking was the last one that he had possessed.
The suspect then requested they both share the last cigarette.
The taxi driver offered an alternative solution that involved the taxi driver smoking approximately 50 percent of the cigarette and then giving the cigarette to the suspect who could then smoke the remainder (a sensible idea that would, at least for the taxi driver, take into account any germs that the suspect may have been carrying).
This suggestion angered the suspect who responded by punching the taxi driver in the face with a closed fist.
A flying open beer can hitting the taxi driver, courtesy of the suspect, followed up this assault.
After hearing this story, the officers went in search of this man and they found him in the 1400 block of Ocean Avenue, whereupon he was arrested after being identified by the taxi driver.
This homeless man was charged with battery upon a person and his bail was set at $20,000.
Editor’s Note: These reports are part of a regular police coverage series entitled “Alert Police Blotter” (APB), which injects some minor editorial into certain police activities in Santa Monica. Not all of the Mirror’s coverage of incidents involving police are portrayed in this manner. More serious crimes and police-related activities are regularly reported without editorial in the pages of the Santa Monica Mirror and its website, smmirror.com.