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City Manager: Galleria Is 'Very Safe'

City Manager Bill Workman responds to allegations from a stabbing victim's family that the South Bay Galleria is a "cesspool of crime."

The South Bay Galleria is "very safe," and certainly not the "cesspool of crime" that the parents of a 13-year-old boy who received life-threatening injuries from a stabbing at the mall in December makes it out to be, Redondo Beach City Manager Bill Workman told the city council Tuesday night.

"The facts really speak for themselves," Workman said as he pointed out that there were only two aggravated assaults—the December double stabbing—at the Galleria over the past two years.

In a news conference on Monday, attorney Michael Adler and the family of the boy who was stabbed announced a lawsuit against Forest City Enterprises Inc., which owns the Galleria, and security company Andrews International Inc. on grounds of negligent. The family is alleging that both companies failed to "warn the public about the known danger of criminal activity" and failed "to provide adequate security and surveillance," among other charges.

The city of Redondo Beach is not named in the lawsuit.

"We were under the assumption that we were leaving our son in a safe place... obviously he wasn't safe," Maria Williams said. Her husband, Rich Williams, called the mall "a cesspool of crime."

Adler said that according to police records, there have been 128 crimes reported to police at the Galleria in the past three months—most of which were petty thefts.

Workman indicated that the only violent crimes that have occurred in the past two years were the stabbings.

"There are no cesspools in Redondo," said Councilman Pat Aust on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, Councilman Bill Brand pointed to a lingering public perception that the Galleria is unsafe.

"We can put the facts out and the crime stats, but the perception is still there, and it hurts the attendance at the Galleria," Brand said.

Police are still investigating the stabbings, according to police spokesman Sgt. Shawn Freeman. They've received dozens of leads through various channels, and are continuing to review surveillance video.

Related:

  • 2 Teens Stabbed at South Bay Galleria
  • Police: Stabbing Apparently Unprovoked
  • Galleria Steps up Security After Stabbings
  • Police Release Sketch of Stabbing Suspect
  • Stabbing Victim's Parents Speak Out
  • Stabbing Victim's Family Sues South Bay Galleria
Tim Sole February 28, 2013 at 03:21 AM
When I first moved out here, 6 years ago I was told, do not go there. They actually referred to it as the "Ghetto-Ria", when speaking about the place. All I know is the few times I went, they where correct in their naming of the place.
Steve Sammarco February 28, 2013 at 04:58 PM
The Redondo Beach have lost 16 (some say as many as 21) cops in the last 5 years. Furthermore, The City of Redondo stopped paying their "cost share" to Galleria Mall, so Mall management forced to cut real cop shifts in the mall. In the last 4 years, District Four has had Murder, Armed Bank Robbery and Stabbings (all got a way from the scene of the crime). As a husband and father, I would rate that: Not Very Safe
Nicole Mooradian (Editor) February 28, 2013 at 05:02 PM
When you say murder, are you referring to the double homicide last year? Police caught their suspect within 24 hours of discovering the bodies.
Kelly Sarkisian February 28, 2013 at 06:49 PM
How many cars have been stolen from the mall? It's like a used car dealership for car thieves! How about the recent 100+ mile an hour pursuit that began at the mall and ended all the way in LA? The criminal element know the mall is ripe for the picking due to lack of policing. They come from far and wide to take advantage of Redondo. Why wasn't the City Manager called on the carpet for taking away the funding for cops out there? He made the decision on the funding that cut shiffts and left the mall wide open to criminals. He seems to be Teflon when it comes to responsibility for his actions that are not benefitting the residents! Maybe the new council will find the fortitude to actually treat him like an employee and not appointed ruler!
Kelly Sarkisian February 28, 2013 at 06:53 PM
2/26/13 Linda Johnson commented on Patch: I support the Williams in their decision to file a lawsuit against The South Bay Galleria. My car was stolen from The Galleria on August 6, 2010, @ 3:00 p.m. It was parked in the Nordstrom parking lot on Hawthorne Blvd., underneath a surveillance camera. I filed a report with the Redondo Beach Police, and asked mall security to view the surveillance tape, in hopes of identifying the suspect, and my request was met with resistance. I followed up a few days later, with the police and mall security, to find out if they had any leads, and again, I was met with resistance. Needless to say, they were no help at all, and my car wasn't recovered.
Karl March 02, 2013 at 04:20 AM
"VERY SAFE"???? REALLY!!!! WHAT is the City Manager talking about! CRIME at the SOUTH BAY GALLERIA Mall has been an ongoing concern. There have been reports of as many as 128 crimes at the SOUTH BAY GALLERIA Mall in the 90 days leading up to the attack on December 29, 2012. Let me get this correct Mr City Manager.... Did these 128 crimes Not happen?!?!?! CRIME IS CRIME Mr. City Manager!! On 12-29-12, TWO Teens were brutally stabbed in the heart with life threatening wounds and the suspect casually walked through not only the 3rd floor of the South Bay Galleria mall, but the 2nd floor of the mall, and the 1st floor of the mall and then casually exits the mall into OUR COMMUNITY..... and the South Bay Galleria Mall has NOT ONE clean video picture of the suspect's face?!?!?! And YET the City Manager of Redondo Beach has the GULL to call the South Bay Galleria Mall "VERY SAFE"? WOW! Mr. City Manaager, Would you let your kids go to the Mall after these teenagers were stabbed ?!?!?!?! I mean it is VERY SAFE right Mr. City Manager! If this is NOT A CESSPOOL OF CRIME, then what is Mr. City Manager ?!?!?!?! Time to elect some new City Officials in Redondo Beach!!! Obviously the officials in office have an issue facing reality! No wonder Nordstroms is leaving the Galleria - GOOD FOR NORDSTROMS - Smart move!!!
Bruce Szeles March 04, 2013 at 11:15 PM
Steve, Does the word "crime" also apply to stealing your opponents campaign materials in the district 4 council race? Is this what the people of district 4 deserve in the people who are running for office? I say they deserve better!
Wolfman March 07, 2013 at 04:21 PM
Does anybody still remember what happened to the Hawthorne Mall ? and it was right across the street from the Hawthorne PD

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