Kim Glass, former Olympic volleyball player, was attacked and beaten by a homeless man in downtown Los Angeles according to multiple reports. In a video posted to Instagram Glass said she believed the assailant used a metal object in the assault which he hurled at her. The assault left Glass with multiple facial fractures and one of her eyes was swollen shut.
She was leaving a lunch last Friday afternoon when she saw a man run up with something in his hand. He was on the other side of a car, in the street, when he threw the object — what Glass believes might have been a metal pipe or bolt — at her face.
“He just like looked at me with some pretty hateful eyes,” she said in videos posted to Instagram. “It happened so fast, he literally flung it from the street, he was not even close to me at all.”
Bystanders came to Glass’ aid during the attack until the paramedics arrived and several other people held down the man who allegedly attacked her until police made it to the scene. The police identified the assailant as Semeon Tesfamariam, 51 and took him into custody.
According to a Los Angeles police department spokesperson Tesfamariam was booked on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon, and is being held without bond.
It appears as though Glass will make a full recovery, and she thanked her doctors on the Instagram videos.
“Guys, just be safe out there. You shouldn’t have to be fearful when you walk,” she said. “I wasn’t ready for it and there’s a lot of mentally ill people on these streets right now.”
We are two and a half years into a seemingly never-ending pandemic and the rising costs of goods vs. stagnant wages. Times are tough for a lot of people out there. For our fellow citizens that are homeless and battling mental health illnesses, it’s even worse.
Nobody should be fearful walking down the street and in a country as wealthy as this one we shouldn’t have the homeless crisis that we do. Nevertheless here we are.
Tesfamariam allegedly committed assault and there needs to be atonement for that. But in a society that chooses punitive measures as opposed to examining root causes that lead to these issues, nothing ever gets fixed.
We’re never going to completely eliminate homelessness, crime, or mental illness. None of that is possible. But we can do a better job of having systems in place to mitigate and deal with these issues in a positive way aimed at stability, rehabilitation, and recovery.
Glass is a Los Angeles native and silver medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a member of the U.S.A. women’s indoor volleyball team. She is a coach and trainer, has been a model for the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit edition, and recently worked with the Equine Leadership Program, an alternative to equine therapy that helps produce stability, structure and a replicable system for personal and professional growth.