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Security concerns for the Ocean Beach holiday parade amid attacks by homeless

Recent attacks involving homeless has some people concerned about safety during the annual Ocean Beach holiday parade.

SAN DIEGO — The Ocean Beach holiday parade is this weekend, but with recent violence involving homeless people, some worry about security at the annual event.

Surveillance video of a man attacked by a reported homeless person in front of Hodad’s on Newport Avenue last week has outraged the Ocean Beach community.

“The scourge of homeless people, especially violent people, have been proliferating,” said Woody Boethel, a recent victim.

Jonny Poehlman owns Sunset Garage on Bacon Street and says he has also been attacked.

Another woman sent CBS 8 a message detailing a traumatic story of being pushed to the ground by a couple of homeless people around Halloween in the Hodad’s parking lot.

“These are young punks,” said Denny Knox, Ocean Beach Main Street Association Executive Director.

She’s been around since the homeless was a problem in the 60s.

“It's at the pinnacle moment,” said Knox.

Police have not arrested the suspects in last week's attack.

The Ocean Beach holiday parade on Saturday is hosted by the OB Town Council, and thousands of families and their children plan to attend.

“We work closely with the city to establish a security plan, and all of that is in place at this point,” said Corey Bruins, OB Town Council President.

CBS 8 reached out to San Diego Police; a spokesperson said they are increasing patrols because it's a significant event, not because of the recent attacks.

“In my time here for six years, we haven't had any major incidents at the parade, so we're grateful for that and expecting that this year,” said Bruins.

As CBS 8 gathered information about security for the Ocean Beach parade, we noticed there were not nearly as many homeless on the wall by the pier or loitering in parking lots or on sidewalks.

“It wasn't empty last night,” said Knox. “I hesitate to guess, but I'm sure I know.”

Some locals suspect the city came in Thursday morning and moved the homeless before the OB Holiday parade on Saturday. The city did something around Petco Park during the 2022 Padres playoffs.

The city has not returned our request for comment.

“This community needs a little rest from the constancy of bad behavior,” said Knox.

She hopes the joy of the parade is not overshadowed by the fear of violence.

“I hope people are looking and saying, isn't it so much better when we've got some controls down here, and I know coming from Ocean Beach you usually don't hear that, but I think the consensus here is people want to see are police around walking patrols they want to have it more of a community effort,” said Knox.

Members on Ocean Beach neighborhood pages posted about requesting more police patrols.

Police said, “SDPD has received emails requesting extra patrol in Ocean Beach. Officers provide extra patrols when they are not answering radio calls.”

Police encourage people who are victims or witness a crime to report it to the police immediately.

WATCH RELATED: Ocean Beach community concerned with SDPD's response amid homeless acts of violence (Nov. 2022).



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