Assailants of OB Man Still Not Caught After 10 Days

by on November 28, 2022 · 16 comments

in Homelessness, Ocean Beach

Still from surveillance camera shows Woody Boethel, in red jacket, being beaten by the two main assailants.

The small group of assailants of an OB man ten days ago all caught on surveillance video have still not been caught by police.

On Friday, Nov. 18, around 9:30 pm, Woody Boethel was jumped by about five people — all assumed to be houseless — out in front of Hodad’s. The assault was captured by a Hodads videocam and many viewers have since watched the brutal beating.

Apparently, Boethel had just come from The Joint up Newport Ave when he noticed a large group hanging out at the corner in front of the market. He went inside and complained to employees inside, and upon coming out, he was asked for money.

He refused and put a special twist on it that he wouldn’t especially give them money. This upset a handful hanging out, about 4 men and a women, and Boethel was jumped, kicked and beaten. A friend of Boethel’s tried to intervene and pull some of the assailants away.

After a few seconds, the fighting ended and Boethel gathered his things and walked away.

The assault had fractured a wrist and multiple kicks and punches had left him sore — and angry. He’s not angry with the police but with the politicians for allowing it to get like this, people like Mayor Gloria and Jen Campbell. He understood, Boethel said, that the police are understaffed and it’s not their fault.

And the beating has caused TV cameras to search the streets of OB to get residents and some businessowners to vent against the homeless. And it hasn’t been difficult. Many interviewed see the recent beating as just part of a pattern these days in OB and call for something to be done. Some even say that the homeless have caused Starbucks to close.

The San Diego Police Department released the following statement:

“We understand why this incident is distressing to our community. The video is difficult to watch. The San Diego Police Department will continue to quickly respond to calls for service and work proactively to keep our neighborhoods safe.

This is an active investigation. While the suspects in this attack currently remain at large, our detectives have identified persons of interest and are working to build a case against those involved.”

Although Boethel claims he is lucky to be alive and that people just walked by during by the assault, a view of the video shows the fight but he is clearly able to get up and walk away. No one is seen in the video simply walking by and doing nothing.

Boethel – and others briefly interviewed by TV – see this as a tipping point in the community’s patience in dealing with the aggressiveness and violence perpetrated by today’s homeless in OB.

However, young Mr. Hardin, Mike’s son, states that he has to deal with similar events in downtown San Diego where Hodad’s has another eatery. Chris Saltzman, Manager at OB Hodad’s, told the media that in terms of violence, “I would say there’s been a pickup since the pandemic has started.” And that, “the uptick in violence recently that I’ve noticed, I’m noticing almost once a week every other week there’s a fight breaking out in front of the restaurant or down the street.”

KUSI’s reporter Dan Plante indicated that not too long after the incident, he witnessed the same assailants still free walking about OB.

Police say they’re building a case “against those involved.” Yet the video clearly shows the 3 to 4 individuals involved and ten days later, they’re all presumably still walking around.


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Kennedy November 28, 2022 at 12:28 pm

I was walking down Newport (towards the beach) at about 6-7 o’clock or so that Friday evening and the whole area around the liquor store at Bacon and Newport and down to Hodad’s was filled with the largest and roughest looking crowd of people and their dogs I have ever seen by far in OB. Not surprising that something liked this happened.
/s/ Chris Kennedy


Chris November 28, 2022 at 2:39 pm

Hopefully these “houseless” will finally get a room over their heads. In jail.


Chris November 28, 2022 at 2:39 pm

Sadly that won’t likely happen.


retired botanist November 28, 2022 at 4:58 pm

Wow. I have a tremendous empathy for the unsheltered, but have zero empathy or tolerance for this kind of behavior. So hard to understand- what’s the motive? Envy? Rage against the wrong entity? Its difficult to try and fathom why displaced/homeless/traveler people would do this. I get bullying behavior, which clearly is not restricted to those who are homeless, I get busking for $ and I get saying “no’, but I just don’t get impulsive, lashing out on an individual whose actions, whether inflammatory? or not, are not going to change the scenario. I try hard to “wear the shoes of others” to improve my POV, but these incidents are hard to justify. Disheartening.


Chris November 28, 2022 at 5:43 pm

I’ve never been attacked by any homeless in OB but have heard and read tons of stories about it so it seems it’s sadly a thing. I HAVE had some homeless get pretty aggressive towards me tho.


marc johnson November 28, 2022 at 6:28 pm

OB the new San Francisco.


C November 28, 2022 at 8:04 pm

Okay, I live in OB. Been here since 1988. I experience panhandling probably 3-4 times a week. The way to deal someone asking you for money is just to tell the person, sorry I can’t help you. Telling someone I’m not going to help, ESPECIALLY YOU, is disrespectful and asking for a good ass kicking. From what I understand Mayor Gloria is working on solutions to help the unsheltered in our city. Picking a fight with a panhandler is not the way to deal with this situation. I have no sympathy for this clown.


Chris November 29, 2022 at 8:58 am

Making a statement to the effect of singling out someone isn’t smart, but no it does not deserve an ass kicking. Many of the homeless in OB can be pretty downright aggressive so there are some pretty understandable reasons why people can be fed up with them. None of us who weren’t there know the full scenario of what went down in this encounter, but what ever it was does the victim did not deserve what happened. And no Todd Gloria does not truly care about the homeless and you don’t really hold the opinion that he does.


GML November 29, 2022 at 9:11 am

“From what I understand Mayor Gloria is working on solutions to help the unsheltered in our city.”

Mayor Gloria really isn’t doing anything to solve the issues. Same should be said about Jen Campbell. Not necessarily blaming them for the problems but they sure as hell aren’t helping.


kh November 29, 2022 at 11:03 am

So you’re ok with someone being violently assaulted by 4 guys because they said something rude to some strangers that accosted them?

Whether or not it could’ve been avoided, it shouldn’t be happening to begin with. I’ve had my life threatened, and spit at for politely trying to approach someone that was disturbing the public. I’ve been cussed at and threatened for walking past people begging. Can’t win.

I guess we should just stay home, lest we cross paths with some violent nutjob itching for trouble. We shouldn’t have to equate it with how to deal with a bear encounter on a hiking trail.


Debbie November 29, 2022 at 8:41 am

Jonny Poehlman, the owner of Sunset Garage in Ocean Beach has also been attacked


kh November 29, 2022 at 10:45 am

Between the violent entitled beggars and the addict/mentally ill homeless, you really have to walk on eggshells in OB, day or night.

It’s tempting to let your guard down and let on how you really feel, but it might get you assaulted or worse. Even if you are polite or silent you ‘re guaranteed at some point to have some deranged person threatening to kill you, or your dog or your children. It’s simply not safe for families, or tourists, or anyone really along the Newport corridor and beachfront, and it’s getting worse each year. I’ve also seen some visitors find it amusing when they see someone screaming at the voices in their head or wandering delirious into traffic. They probably live in one of those other 99% of places on earth where this isn’t a daily occurence.

I’m also sick of the conversation being hijacked into a housing crisis, or homelessness crisis.

Violent and threatening people (whether to themselves or others) need to be removed from the public, period. How they got there or what their needs are, is secondary. We really can address homelessness AND crime at the same time, one does not excuse the other.


Michael November 29, 2022 at 11:24 am

I used to live in OB for 5 years from 2016-2021 and all this seems to come in waves. The homeless were cleared in front of the liquor store for awhile so they went to Veterans park. Now that enforcement has been lax, they are aggressive in front of the liquor store again. Really sad.

I travel into SD for business and have started staying in Harbor Island instead of the OB Hotel on Newport. This is honestly the first trip I have no intent or desire to visit OB. I’ll choose to believe OB was right for me at a certain time in life instead of it being lost and gone forever.

My home is now in Austin but I wear my kilowatt shirt regularly. I’m shocked by how many people in Austin have lived/moved from OB. If you ever wonder where they go, it’s definitely Austin.


sealintheSelkirks December 2, 2022 at 6:51 pm

Anybody else notice is isn’t ‘just’ the homeless that seem to be getting more violent? Been screamed at or threatened for wearing a mask by a spittle-flying red-faced person? I have. Get into an argument with a MAGA GOPer over anything? Not fun. Watched road rage erupt over a parking place? Uh-huh. I never go into a store on Black Friday.

I see society in general, all walks of life, getting less and less…shall we say congenial or maybe tolerant of one another. Like a ‘too-many-rats in a cage’ experiment gone wrong.

Would you be brave enough to fly a flag off your vehicle saying F&&K Trump? Nope, not me, either, but I do have a beautiful blue flag with that photo of blue-marble earth taken from space on it that I’ve driven around with in protest. People have asked me what it means…

At least these attackers weren’t carrying AR15s or wearing pistols on their belts. Just saying…
Panhandlers aren’t necessarily without a place to live so it might be interesting to find out if these people are actually homeless or just hanging out scrounging before going home. Seen that before, too.



Debbie December 2, 2022 at 7:59 pm

Looks like nobody is getting caught for the crimes committed in OB –


Maddie December 17, 2022 at 11:16 pm

Is the dog okay? In the video he gets kicked, and I know the owner suffered injuries from the attacks, thankfully he’s going to recover. But I haven’t seen anything about the dog :(


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