On Wednesday morning, a Los Angeles man seated on a bench by a downtown sidewalk shoved a random passerby into the path of an oncoming truck, leaving him in critical condition. On Friday, that man was identified as Garrett Boldt, 29, who was booked for attempted murder, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Video acquired by Los Angeles station KABC shows Boldt seated on the bench. As a woman walks by him from his left to his right, he jumps at her, startling her, then resumes sitting on the bench. Subsequently, a man walks past Boldt from his right to his left. As he walks in front of Boldt, Boldt shoves him directly into the street. Although the driver of the box truck hit the brakes, the victim was thrown under his front wheel, suffering a collapsed lung and multiple broken bones, according to KABC. Witnesses said Boldt was homeless.
Boldt then picked up something from the street and walked away. He was arrested hours later after firefighters saw the video and detained him the same night. Fire Station 9 Capt. Raymond Robles said, "We followed him a couple blocks and made notification to LAPD. I am happy [he was arrested]. I hope the gentleman he pushed has a speedy recovery and for the individual that did push him, hopefully he can do a little soul searching on what he did was wrong, and keep him off the street from hurting anybody else."
Firefighter Austen Johnson told KABC, "It was definitely the bright neon rain jacket and the baggy pants, and just the demeanor the guy had.”
The Los Angeles Police Department thanked KABC and the Los Angeles Fire Department on Twitter, writing, “IN CUSTODY!! Earlier, @ABC7 aired a clip of an individual pushing a passerby underneath a panel truck. Thanks to our partners @LAFD he is now in custody. Alert Fire Fighters observed him walking in the #DTLA area and called for us to respond, where he was arrested.”
The Los Angeles Times reported in February 2018:
The number of those living in the streets and shelters of the city of L.A. and most of the county surged 75% — to roughly 55,000 from about 32,000 — in the last six years. (Including Glendale, Pasadena and Long Beach, which conduct their own homeless counts, the total is nearly 58,000.)
Three out of four homeless people — 41,000 — live in cars, campers, tents and lean-tos, by far the biggest single group of unsheltered people in any U.S. city. If you took out Los Angeles, national homelessness would have dropped last year for the first time since the recession.
LAAlmanac has reported:
According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, in 2018, approximately 50,000 to 60,000 persons may be found homeless on any given night in Los Angeles County. Youth, from minors through age 24, with the largest concentrations in the Hollywood and Venice communities of Los Angeles, make up more than 700 of these. Although homeless people may be found throughout the county, the largest concentrations are in the central Los Angeles area (27%) and in South Los Angeles (16%). Most are from the Los Angeles area and stay in or near the communities from which they came.