La Jolla crime and public safety news: Man suspected of punching woman and hitting cars; police blotter

To report a non-emergency crime, call the San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154.
To report a non-emergency crime, call the San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154. In an emergency, dial 911.

Man suspected of punching woman and hitting cars

A man was arrested in La Jolla on suspicion of accosting a woman, punching her on the face and damaging a nearby car.

The man, believed to be homeless, was arrested in the late afternoon June 10 after multiple people reported a man obstructing traffic and hitting vehicles with his fists in the 1000 block of Torrey Pines Road, near Girard Avenue, according to San Diego police Lt. Bryan Brecht.

Four days later, Brecht told the La Jolla Shores Association, “I’m sure [the suspect has] been released by now.”

The incident began when a man asked La Jolla resident and La Jolla/Riford Library volunteer Marilyn Pobiner for money as she was walking home along Torrey Pines Road.

“I tried to get around him, but he blocked me with his body,” she told the La Jolla Light. “He was so angry, and I feared for my life because there was a lot of traffic and I thought he was going to push me in the street. I pulled out my phone and that seems to have set him off. He punched me in the nose, ran off and said, ‘I’m going to kill you.’ I was so stunned.”

She said she has encountered homeless people in the area before but said “most have never done anything to me or gotten aggressive.”

Pobiner called police to report the incident, and when officers arrived, they told her the suspect may have been arrested in the nearby Pavilions parking lot. “Police took me [to where he had been apprehended] and I could see right away that it was him,” she said.

The man had been arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism because of damage to the hood of a vehicle, Brecht said.

“Another vehicle was struck by the subject but did not sustain any damage,” Brecht said. “It is unknown why the subject behaved the way he did.”

Brecht said those who called police “did what they should have done: report the incident to the police, not confront the subject, and be a good witness.”

A few days after the encounter, Pobiner said she was “physically fine, but my nose still hurts, especially when I wear glasses.”

She isn’t “going to dwell on what happened,” she said. “I’m still going to walk around, but I hope it never happens again.”

Police blotter

Further details were unavailable from San Diego police.

June 5

Residential burglary: 2200 block Via Anita, 6 p.m.

June 9

Felony vehicle theft: 5500 block Linda Rosa Avenue, 3:30 p.m.

June 10

Commercial burglary: 1200 block Prospect Street, 7 p.m.

Drunk in public: 7900 block La Jolla Shores Drive, 10:07 p.m.

June 11

Felony vandalism: North Torrey Pines Road at Salk Institute Road, 10:14 a.m.

Felony vandalism: 7600 block Gilman Court, 6 p.m.

June 12

Felony vandalism: 3200 block Nobel Drive, 5:07 p.m.

— Compiled by Ashley Mackin-Solomon from police and other local reports