3 Homeless to Be Charged in Trespassing

The Los Angeles city attorney’s office said Tuesday that misdemeanor trespassing charges will be filed against three former residents of Justiceville, the Skid Row shantytown that was shut down by police 3 1/2 weeks ago, for setting up their makeshift shelters on another piece of Downtown property.

Taken to Rampart Division police station on Monday, after a citizen’s arrest by a representative of the owner of the property at 3rd and Bixel streets, were Justiceville organizer Ted Hayes and Wendell Gray and Walter Bannister.

Eighteen homeless people had been camping at the new site since shortly after they were evicted from the first Justiceville at 6th Street and Gladys Avenue, attorney Douglas Booth said. Most left the Bixel Street property when ordered to do so Monday by Terry Lee, property manager for Richfield International Management Inc.

Booth and Lois Arkin, executive director of the Cooperative Resources and Services Project, a support group for the Justiceville people, said police were polite and those arrested did not resist.


Booth said the move by the management company was surprising, because Lee initially seemed to react favorably to a proposal that the homeless group clean up dry brush and other fire hazards, arrange for portable sanitary facilities and generally take care of the property in exchange for the right to live there temporarily.

“Apparently it was nixed by higher-ups,” Booth said.