A panhandler acting very aggressive in a busy Malibu shopping center when an actor stepped in to calm him down and he was attacked.
"I was sitting there next to Starbucks which is my usual hang… while I was there a menacing individual who entered the space using foul language at the top of his voice. He began aggressively panhandling of people.”
The words of actor Michael Rider. He's been in movies like "Hunter’s Moon" and "Roadhouse" and TV shows like "How I Met Your Mother" and "MacGyver". But, never a drama like what happened on Monday, May 1st.
At that Starbucks he finds himself dealing with an aggressive panhandler, says Rider, “He menaced a nice woman sitting there minding her own business and when she declined to give him change. He started to curse her and she was frightened. At that point, I stood up and said 'look, buddy, you’re drunk… you’re out of control… you need to leave people alone. He started to curse people out… I took a couple of steps to ease him out of the area and he started to walk away.”
That’s when things got really nasty and Rider got injured. The actor continues, "He walked over and picked up a chair and threw it at me. I caught the chair with a glancing blow. Before I could grab him or stop him he grabbed a table and threw it at me. I got a laceration and I had to go to the emergency room and get 12 stitches.”
Rider was stunned, but the owner of Malibu Yogurt and Ice Cream next door wasn’t surprised. Lisa Wildman says some transients have gotten very bold around here. "They’ve actually come into the store. This one fellow kept coming into the store and engage the help and took money from the tip jar.”
Back to that incident with Rider transient Arnold Morales calls it, "disgusting, sad, I really feel for whoever was involved.”
Morales has lived on Malibu streets for 7 years. He’s angry over what happened and says it’ll hurt him when he tries to ask people for money because they'll be afraid of him too.
Meanwhile, Rider says most of Malibu’s homeless are not problematic. He hangs out with some at the Starbucks. But, he blames a growing population of troublemakers he describes as drug and alcohol abusers like the person he says attacked him with the table and chair.
He adds, "My feeling is that because of the overcrowding at county jail they’re releasing some of these people that should not be on the street.” Those are the people he believes are causing all of the trouble.
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