Altercation on Newport Avenue Thursday Night – Woman Arrested

by on October 29, 2010 · 44 comments

in Ocean Beach, Popular

Newport fight 10-28-10 jg 02-sm

Commotion and government response to fight, Newport Avenue, Oct. 28, 2010. Photos by Jim Grant.


A San Diego Police Department Community Relations Officer has confirmed that there was an altercation on Newport Avenue Thursday evening, October 28th.  Apparently a “traveling” homeless woman attacked a “mainstay” homeless male, kneeing him in the face, resulting in the loss of lots of blood.

She was arrested by police. Her dog got loose and was taken to Animal Control where it will be held for her.

Officer David Surwilo confirmed the disturbance to me on the phone this morning. He said this happened in front of Hodad’s and in the parking lot just to the west of the infamous hamburger place. Surwilo is the Community Relations Officer for Western Division of the SDPD.

Newport fight 10-28-10 jg 01-sm

Man kneed in face by attacker being wheeled away by paramedics.

The homeless woman attacked the male, and there was another victim of her attack but there is no further info on either victims. One victim was taken by paramedics.

Hodad'sOfficer Surwilo said that there was lots of yelling and screaming.  This brought out the ‘happy hour’ crowds from other local bars.  So many people converged to the scene – “waves of people” – that a Police helicopter was called in to help disperse the crowds to enable the officers to make their arrest and investigate the incident.

The attacking woman’s dog will be held at Animal Control for her. As per their policy, Surwilo summarized, he believes they will hold the dog for 30 days, feed it, give it shots if needed.  If unclaimed, the dog will go through an evaluation for adoption.

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

noah October 29, 2010 at 10:55 am

“a Police helicopter was called in to help disperse the crowds to enable the officers to make their arrest and investigate the incident.”


the chopper circled for at least 10- 15 minutes wasting taxpayer money, threatening innocent bystanders, witnesses, and pedestrians.

There is NO REASON to THREATEN the PUBLIC with ARREST when they are peacefully assembling in the street.

Unless of course, this is Nazi Germany… then that makes it OK.


Frank Gormlie October 29, 2010 at 11:15 am

Noah, just reporting what I was told, as I was not there. What else did you see or hear?


Random OB'r October 29, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Yeah, I was down at dog beach when the helicopter cruised in, I could hear them yelling at the crowd with the loudspeaker. Seems like they’ll use any and all excuses to send the chopper out, must be a budget thing or something. Armed robbery and the suspect at large, sure I can understand then, but I hardly see the need for a simple scrap between two homeless people.

Kudos to the Rag though, I was wondering what that whole thing was about.


Tony October 29, 2010 at 8:44 pm

The SDPD helicoptor is in the air a majority of time helping the officers on the ground with all sorts of calls. Responding to an assault and assisting with crowd control is where I hope my tax dollars are going. The SDPD is trying to make OB a safe place. When they ask you to disperse do them a favor and cooperate.


rachel bruni October 29, 2010 at 11:11 am

The homeless people in OB can be really agressive and violent, and it’s situations like this one that give the town a bad name. I hope she is prosicuted to the full extent of the law, and it sends a message to the young agressive homeless of OB that their behavior will not be tolorated.


story October 29, 2010 at 1:44 pm

We need a chopper, a fire truck, a dozen or so squad cars including a Harbor Police car to handle a fight between a homeless man and a homeless woman? I was there to witness the aftermath.

Perhaps they were looking to provoke the standard police riot.


ss October 29, 2010 at 6:42 pm

A harbor cop are you kidding way out of their jurisdiction. The PD are famous for calling in way to much help one A bum passed out on the corner in Downtown gets 2 fire engines 2 or 3 police and an ambulance. easily 10 people when all they really need is maybe one cop and the ambulance. I can never understand that talk about wasting money


story October 30, 2010 at 10:17 am

The “emergency response” to incidents like this is how the above agencies justify their ever increasing budgets. For what council person ever reads the fine print of these emergency responses?

The report will just say something like “Fight….Injury…hospitalization….large crowd….back-up officers called in to break up unruly crowd….police helicopter….canine -unit………inter-agency cooperation …peaceful outcome….”

And there you have it and so whatever law enforcement does is correct. And whatever funding it needs is appropriate. This incident proves it!


Dylan October 29, 2010 at 1:53 pm

You have to be freaking kidding me.

Eight cop cars, a paramedic and a firetruck sped down the middle of Sunset Cliffs with their lights blazing, scaring the shit out of my dog, to break up a BUM FIGHT?

Don’t get me wrong, I think Ocean Beach has effectively been ruined by the crop of aggressive bums ( yes, they exist, and yes they’re mean as hell ). But when I saw that emergency response I thought something had exploded.


jim grant October 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I was at the scene i was told this by person who saw the fight.
1. A guy was looking to pick a fight.
2. He looked in the right place and got his ass whipped , with his teeth knocked out.
3. Whe SDPD showed up he spit a mouthful of blood at them and was belligrent.
4. His girlfriend got pissed at police and sent her dog after SDPW. They got control of the dog, the woman and man.
5. I light of what happened earlier in the day to a fellow officer they did what they though was best at the time .
photo to follow ….


dave rice October 29, 2010 at 11:37 pm

RE 5 – I’ll bet after an officer being downed just yesterday they’re a bit jumpy. Understandable, but in most circumstances I’d call this a bit of an overreaction…


Chris Moore November 1, 2010 at 11:12 am

I agree that this probably had a lot to do with it, especially if the first call they got was an “officer in need an assistance” call, they tend to err on the side of caution.

I don’t get the impression anyone who was not actually part of the altercation got arrested.

The cops responding don’t have perfect knowledge of the situation, all they know is there’s a violent incident and a large crowd nearby.

I’m hardly a kneejerk defender of everything the SDPD does, but if this had turned into a real melee with 10-20 people getting hurt, we’d probably all be complaining about the “inadequate police response” here ;)


Victoria Morrison November 4, 2010 at 9:54 am

The lady and her dog were arrested. That poor dog is also doing time now because of her. He might end up with a worse sentence if he doesn’t pass the adoption evaluation. (Poor doggy)


sandy October 29, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Why is Hodad’s infamous? Just wondering…


Frank Gormlie October 29, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Hodad’s is so famous, it’s infamous. We love Mike and Terry and what and who they are. It’s all said with affection.


OB Dude October 29, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Love getting local news! Thanks everyone.

The Beacon doesn’t do much in the way of telling what happens around town. We are so lucky to have the Rag! I will giving you a donation!

Let’s see what the weekend brings.


Meghann October 29, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Actually they attacked 7 locals born and raised not each other I was one of them shows how much he said she said goes around


Goatskull October 29, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Looks like she got him pretty good.


OB Mercy October 29, 2010 at 4:49 pm

This is what I don’t get. I lived all my life up until 2 yrs ago in the San Fernando Valley where I owned a home. I must have called the cops DOZENS of times over the years for good reason. They mostly never showed up, and they certainly never sent a chopper! Meanwhile, we’ve had to call the cops a few times here in OB in the last year…mainly for rowdy fights, or a party out of control…and EVERY single time, a chopper was on the scene in 5 min!!! And yet, we read here in the Rag and in the Beacon that they are going to have brown out days in the OB Fire Dept?! What the hell?? My son is a firefighter and a helicopter pilot so I know how much money it cost to send a helo out. Unreal. I love it here, but I don’t get it sometimes.


Goatskull October 30, 2010 at 2:20 pm

That’s San Diego politics for you.


Marisag October 31, 2010 at 7:23 am

I’ve been at a party in Otay back in the early 90’s where they sent TWO, both circling with their spotlights …. lit up the mosh pit pretty good… all for a private party, on private property… a farm… surrounded by industrial businesses and other farms….no way we were disturbing anyone… I think the border patrol must have called it in. Really stupid… two choppers for a party.


OB Guy November 2, 2010 at 2:00 pm

The helo is up most of the day and into the night to help protect the city as a whole. But let me get this straight yopu are really only upset because you want the money to go to your firefighter son who gets paid to jog on the beach and shop with his fire radio in his hand and sleep in the station.


OB Mercy November 2, 2010 at 3:10 pm

What the bloody hell are you talking about OB Guy??? Where did I say I want the money for my firefighter son?? All I said was that because of him, I know how much it cost to send out a helo. Chill, jeez. My son risks his life every day out there for you and everyone else and this is the thanks he gets?? Wow…are you sure you’re an OBcecian? Cause the ones I know, certainly don’t think like you! If your house was burning down, you’d be damn thankful for him. Since when do firefighters get vilified like a cop? Wow.


tiredofob October 29, 2010 at 7:06 pm

So….they want to raise the sales tax to pay for the helo? And because we don’t have enough officers…huh? Maybe time and money is not being put to good use with our local law enforcement. But I do wonder why oh why a bum fight is so entertaining; what it is is real sad~just like the homeless situation here is.


OB Dude October 29, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Just wanted to clarify that I don’t find fights to be of utmost importantance but rather happenings in OB, stories about OB residents and businesses and life in OB. I do think at times the helicopters are a bit much especially when you go down to dog beach to enjoy a walk and all you hear is the chop chop chop up on top…it makes you wish you stayed home!


Old Hermit Dave October 29, 2010 at 11:02 pm

My only question is did the cops stay under 85MPH as the rushed to this disaster, and if any of the first arrivals had sense enough to radio the other speeding cops that all was OK now so slow down and just get your 15 minutes.


justmy2cents October 30, 2010 at 10:26 am

It seems there are a lot of experts on police matters. Problem is when a situation goes sideways due to a lack of police response then people say ” where were the police at a donut shop” the Police cant win everybody is an expert AFTER the fact…
If it were my family being helped I would much rather have to much assistance than not enough….
I don’t think I have ever heard of anyone who REALLY needed Police help tell dispatch …. ” just send 2 units and tell them to take their time”
You have to love all the second guessers !!!


Sunshine October 30, 2010 at 12:41 pm

heard that OB Noodle House was robbed at closing time that same nite. any truth to that? could this have been a diversion for the intended robbery?


Frank Gormlie October 30, 2010 at 12:44 pm

See latest OB Flashes, please. No, different nights.


Gary Ghirardi October 30, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Thirty years ago this incident would have warranted one police car and an ambulance. The police are over funded and over securitized. Look up “Police State” and see if we are there yet.


oBak October 30, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Over funded? How adorable.
I wish the police were over funded.


Gary Ghirardi October 31, 2010 at 5:19 am

@OBak – What planet do you come from? Are you the police? This is digressing. Dispersing the citizenry? The situation did not require a helicopter. Or multiple police cars.
A woman kneed a man in the face. One police car and an ambulance was enough for this situation. Why was this the approach in the 70’s and not now? In the future will it require S.W.A.T.? The National Guard? What is “not so adorable” is that you have seemed to lack a perspective of proportion and common sense.


oBak October 31, 2010 at 12:06 pm

It is adorable how you are an armchair accountant. That is what is adorable.
I can tell you first hand, our police are way underfunded. No speculation involved.
But hey, let’s disagree on that part, why not.

I fail to see how I lack common sense and a lack of perspective though. Is it because I don’t enjoy a free for all brawl all over the sidewalk while I try to eat dinner?

I mean, I said two lines there, and you kind of just went on some sort of knee jerk rant about the 70’s and extravagance. It is even more adorable than your first statement.

I think we should just disagree without it getting too nasty in these comments. You have a chip on your shoulder, and it is obvious. I’m being condescending towards you because of it. If we continue it will just get worse and worse.


Editordude October 31, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Okay, Gary and Obak, let’s agree that you disagree. Keep it at that. Gary, the police in San Diego are way underfunded. Obak – I think Gary was talking generalities – that the police across America have ramped up their expenses over the last few decades – even while crime is going down.

I think the common ground is over-reaction by the government – not just the police. Both fire and police need funds. Why did so much government have to respond to this incident despite their being underfunded? That’s the question, do you both agree?


Gary Ghirardi November 1, 2010 at 11:21 am

I suspect that as the economy worsensm that is going to increase the homelessness and that is to be expected. If some of these homeless people behave badly there is going to be a backlash by the citizenry and their enforcers, the police, against them. My ex ran the first Rachel’s Woman’s Center in Downtown and generally women on the street are at greater risk for abuse and harassment by men on the streets. Her response to this man she kneed in the face was not explained if she was provoked and/or over reacted. I am reading people are tired of the problems of homelessness but they are not compassionate to the conditions that cause it. My point was that we saw police dealing with the homeless before with less response and it seemed sufficient. Funding is proportionate to the response. We have seen in the last 30 yeard the militarization of our society to an excessive degree. Uf people disagree with this they should find the justification to explain a 44.4% share of taxes going to militarism in the budget and see if they can make a case.


OB Dude October 30, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Remember how many cops used to show up for a Starbucks or Peace rally???? Yeah, I would say overfunded or in needed of reviewing procedures and resources. I can’t speak for the the most recent incident on Newport because I wasn’t there but I do feel too many cops is not a good thing. I would like to see neighborhood beat cops that walk the streets or ride a bike, talk to residents and visitors, get to know and appreciated our town and serve and protect. They have to get out of their cruisers and get real. It would just make a better atmosphere.


Kathy October 30, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Jumped on my bike to check out what all the commotion was over, & it was over by the time I arrived. A crowd lingered in the area for awhile, & I took notice of who the majority were – a bunch of homeless kids, one blatantly walking around with a sign, asking for $1. I guess I didn’t realize how many of them there are, since they are generally scattered in small groups along the wall from Newport & beyond the pier.

Now I understand why local business owners resent the intrusion.


Seth October 30, 2010 at 10:34 pm

I know nothing of this incident other than hearing the copters telling people to disperse (I live on the 5000 block of Saratoga), but as someone who has been here a few years and also lived in close to half a dozen other major cities on the continent, please indulge me while I tell you what amazes me about this place (which I love living in, FWIW).

Point blank, San Diego has to be one of the most underfunded cities anywhere. Yet the reaction to absolutely everything is that it is the fault of a bloated government. For my money, that is absolutely not the story of this place. For better or worse, govt agencies in SD don’t even have the funding to handle the provision of basic services on pretty much any level whatsoever. That’s not all bad, as they have been able to ride out the recession better than most as a result, but there is just this libertarian/Old West/small town mentality in this region that does not at all jive with the reality of San Diego becoming a major city.

Works culturally… politically, not so much.



Marisag October 31, 2010 at 7:27 am

It’s not just SD, its all of CA pretty much. La Jolla is even worse than San Diego as a whole. Ill bet prop D doesn’t pass… people simply don’t care until it effects them personally. I’m waiting for the day my little car disappears into one of the potholes that appear overnight.


Chris October 31, 2010 at 2:03 pm

as i understand it (i talked to someone who arrived shortly after the fact), an officer called in a 10-13 (officer in need of assistance, i could have the code wrong). police basically drop anything they are doing to respond to these so the number of cars is not surprising. i heard they tazed someone, as well. dunno.


Victoria Morrison November 4, 2010 at 9:59 am

I love San Diego, the people and the weather. I feel safe here.


OB4ME November 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm

First of all, This was not over 2 bums fighting each other.
A male & female “homeless” couple who were on a “good one” if you will, picked a fight with a group of locals. Local Females, I might add.
*And it outta tell you something when a crazed B** with a dog comes rushing/swinging at you, and the dog would begin nipping its own owner in the face.*The dog was the least violent offender on the scene!*
As I am sure you can imagine the crowd (that would gather on Newport Ave. on a Thursday night when word spreads bar to bar that a bunch of chicks are kicking some homeless asses) was a massive spread of lookie-loos. This crowd was on scene before the cops, and I can only assume this was because everyone was too busy staring at the fiasco- Some even eating burgers and sipping sodas at the window of Hodads- than to call the cops. The first police response was only a couple cars, but what were they suppose to think? They arrived to a mass of people that could have for all they knew been involved in some sort of “riot”, Since obviously NO ONE knew what was going on. So lets break it down:
With that many people on scene NO WONDER so many cops showed up, who knows what kind of crowd control would be required.
Visible injuries to 2 parties (the homeless that got a a-whoopin) So they had to call some ambulances.
An unleashed barking dog that reports indicated had involvement in scene, There is your animal control..
And yes when 2 violent criminals who just assaulted some women, resist arrest , spit blood & try to head butt at officers, namely a FEMALE officer to boot (He must have mommy issues) You bet a ton of cops are going to show up, You bet that guy would have been tazed and both of them put mesh bags over their faces! I dunno what the Harbor Police were doing there, and the helicopter that can have 2 sides…
BUT I do know that this was NOT a “Bum Fight” This was self defense that just so happened to work out in the innocents favor, What if this crazed A**Hole had a knife? What if this was a stabbing?
Thank God the cops/ambulance showed up to have someones back, Because the “he said she said crowd” damn sure didnt.
And Im just sayin’ if I was a dude witnessing a male homeless guy repeatedly try and attack a FEMALE ( Even though she was handling her own) I definitely would not let that stand, much less be eating a burger at that!
If you have a problem with the amount of police that showed up get out there and vote,
run for senate, city counsel, I dunno something.

I grew up in OB and I know what homeless have been here & been peaceful for years. But all these lazy, worthless, “My mommy kicked me out because she just didnt love me” or more accurately, “My mommy kicked me out because I am a jackass on dope and probably was stealing her s**t” NEED TO GO. We all have faced hard times but seeing the youth of MY GENERATION, resorting to homelessness?!?HA. Because they have no other choice?! Please, How long are you going to sit on the corner of Winstons or down at the sea wall with signs that say “Need money to get home.” I have seen the same losers for years now… Hell, they probably coulda made it home on foot by now if they had any sense of real AMBITION. And by the way trolls can I at least finsh chewing the first half of my sandwich before you ask me for my second? Thanks.


devon November 15, 2010 at 8:30 pm

no comments on the fact that the guy on the streatchers head is sacked with a bag? i wasn’t there, but a friend was at my house moments after (who also missed the actual altercation) but was told a story by a stranger as the cops were telling her she could be arrested for being there. she stayed. the strangers story – which can be mearley a rumor, but should raise some questions since thier is no legit story of yet………he said the woman was slapped across the face by a police officer. if this is true, this is really bad. the man had a bag put over his head and was violently tazered. WHATS WITH THE BAG? Why did his face get sacked?


not a redneck in east county November 15, 2010 at 9:52 pm

The sack is supposed to prevent a person from spitting on others, especially when there is blood involved.


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