Hatchet-wielding homeless man terrorizes Los Angeles neighborhood walking around chopping at trees

Thursday, April 27, 2023
Hatchet-wielding homeless man terrorizes Highland Park
Hatchet-wielding homeless man terrorizes Highland Park as residents say enough is enough.

LOS ANGELES -- Residents of the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles are on alert and frustrated by a hatchet-wielding homeless man who has been seen going around the neighborhood trying to chop down tree branches.

The man lives in a growing homeless encampment that has residents concerned for their children and future in the Los Angeles neighborhood.

"We should be able to go out and not feel worried about someone following us with a hatchet. I think that's not too much to ask," said a concerned mother who has lived in Highland Park for seven years.

The concerned mother shared surveillance video of the hatchet-wielding man chopping a tree near the sidewalk.

And when Eyewitness News drove past the homeless encampment, cameras captured the man chopping at a tree then as well.

"This is our first baby, and we want to bring him into an environment that he feels safe. He's able to walk outside as he gets older. An environment where I can go on a stroll or walk with him by myself and not have to be looking over my shoulder," said the concerned mother.

Another man who has been a resident of the neighborhood for eight years says the homeless encampment is new and he wants someone -- like a social worker -- to help the people living there.

"I've talked to him a few times. He's a nice guy, but you know he's schizophrenic for sure, and it would be great if someone could help him out and get him the help he needs," said James Medina, a father of two.

Medina said the neighborhood has become increasingly dangerous and that he and his wife plan to eventually move out.

"We're eventually going to move out," he said. "I think once they get around five, we're going to split. When I first moved in it seemed like a pretty nice neighborhood, but things have kinda seemed to go downhill."

Eyewitness News contacted the local city council and the LAPD and are still waiting for a response.