A video showing a disheveled and apparently homeless man dropped off in San Pedro by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy has sparked outrage from residents and a Los Angeles city councilman’s demand for an investigation into allegations of homeless “dumping.”
Sheriff’s Lt. Tony Del Pinto of the Lomita sheriff’s station said the department is conducting an internal investigation into the incident, which occurred about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. He said he was not aware of the arrest warrant that had been issued for the transient.
According to a resident who took the video, the man identified himself as Zeus, but officials later identified him as John Thomas Bryan, 54. It was not yet known why deputies dropped him on 25th Street near Mermaid Street, about a quarter-mile from the Los Angeles border with Rancho Palos Verdes.
Sheriff’s deputies patrol three cities on the Palos Verdes Peninsula but only Rancho Palos Verdes shares a border with San Pedro. The city of Lomita, however, also is adjacent to the port community.
A photo taken later in the day on Tuesday showed the man lying on the sidewalk. Chris Balonek, who oversees a crime page on Facebook, was there shortly after the drop-off.
“He only made it about 2,000 feet before he collapsed,” he said, adding that the man apparently had physical problems and appeared to be trying to scoot into the street. A Fire Department rescue unit responded but the man declined treatment, Balonek said.
“This was a residential neighborhood, there are kids there and it’s getting dark, it’s rush-hour traffic,” Balonek said. “He wasn’t safe and the community wasn’t safe.”
Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents San Pedro, was livid when he learned of the incident. He called for a “robust” investigation, including looking into possible costs incurred by the city of Los Angeles as a result of the apparent dumping.