Illegal Camper at Rustic Canyon Park Claims Witnessing Gang Activity

By Sue Pascoe

Felix, by his own admittance, has been living in Rustic Canyon Park for the past three and half years, which is against the law because the city park closes at sunset.

At a recent Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association meeting, Felix claimed that living in the park was part of his spiritual journey and that he had also spent time at the Self-Realization Center Lake Shrine.

He called LAPD and claimed that gangs had come into Rustic Canyon Park, prompting Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore to bring Detective III Greg Davis of the Burglary Table to answer board member concerns.

This is “Wild Bill” who insists on illegally living on the bluffs.
This is “Wild Bill” who insists on illegally living on the bluffs.

“Most of what I’ve heard is what Felix has observed,” Moore said.

A board member asked, “We don’t have any proof of gangs?”

“No,” Moore replied, “other than graffiti.”

Detective Davis said, “At one time there was the PR Boys (Palisades Rude Boys), but a lot of the members got arrested and it disbanded.”

He added that a lot of gang members go into communities and break into homes and cars.

Davis and Moore have not seen a lot of gang activity in the park.

One of the board members said, “I want some confirmation that there has been gang activity.”

Another board member complained that Felix had called the police about a car trunk being open, which had resulted in police storming that residence.

Moore was asked why Felix was not arrested for illegal camping. “The park director had not made a complaint,” he replied.

The News asked Moore on June 21 if Felix had ever turned in a legitimate complaint, other than a report on an attractive woman’s house and the supposed recent gang activity.

“I do recall getting info about two male Hispanics with a possible burglary theft from vehicles, suspects loitering around Latimer 11:30 p.m. (more or less). I think it was late 2016,” Moore said in an email.

Rustic Canyon Recreation Director Paige Barnes was asked about Felix and where he showered or used facilities, since the park was closed. “I can’t say that I am aware of where he uses the restroom, or washes,” she said in a June 20 email to the News. “Overnight camping is not allowed, and we can report it, but it is up to LAPD to enforce removal.”

She added “My understanding is that Felix’s circumstances are due to choice and not lack of resources.”

One Santa Monica Canyon resident wrote, “I do not support having the Rustic Canyon Recreation Center area being an overnight campground for anyone. As someone who lives close to the center, I find the idea of someone living there for free and monitoring what is going on, especially someone who had demonstrated extremely poor judgment, hugely creepy. Why do we allow this?”

The woman added, “It occurred to me that Felix’s accounts of gang activity at the center were all his.”

Another resident speculated “Does Felix want to convince us he’s a valuable asset so he can continue to live as a transient in the park?”

The Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness has spoken to Felix.

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