Video shows man smash car with pickaxe; Oakland business owners want laws enforced
OAKLAND, Calif. - The owner of a music studio in West Oakland said problems caused by people living in homeless encampments across the street have grown steadily worse in the past six years.
He said surveillance video of a recent incident shows the potential threat to public.
He said he's contacted city officials and police but have not gotten any help.
He shared surveillance video that he hopes will get their attention.
"Oh, there's the axe," said Alan Lucchesi as he pointed to the pick axe on the ground outside his business Soundwave Studios on Wood Street.
He said it was used by a homeless man in an attack Sunday morning shortly before 10:30 a.m.
"I saw one of the folks over here run across the street with a pickaxe start smashing the car with somebody in it," Lucchesi said he suspects the violence stemmed from a dispute with the person the car.
He said encampment fires, drug dealing and people dumping stolen vehicles in the area are ongoing problems.
"They can't endanger people who have businesses, my customer, my staff. It's not fair we're having to face this," said Lucchesi.
MORE: 15-year-old girl shot in Oakland dies of injuries
Nearby on the 3400 block of Mandela Parkway, a security guard was killed last Thursday night while working at a community cabin site.
A source told KTVU he was shot six times after he denied former resident access to the property.
Business owners said the city is not doing enough to enforce existing policies for homeless encampments.
"We could be doing much more around these issues," said city council member Carroll Fife who represents West Oakland.
She said she was not aware of either incident.
She said the city council creates policies but does not have the power to enforce them and that she needs the support of the city, county and state to address the problems that come with homelessness and mentally illness.
"I say to the business community, let's organize. I hear you. I feel you. It's challenging," said Fife.
Music producer Larry Clark said he loves working at his rented studio at the building where the axe attack took place, but is considering moving if the problems persist.
"The things that go on across the street is mind-blowing," said Clark.
"I'm not expecting the encampment to go away. I'm not expecting the homeless to go away. We can co-exist, but the city has to manage that interaction," said Lucchesi.
The music studio owner said he wants laws to be enforced in the areas of these encampments, the same way they are enforced elsewhere in Oakland.
Fife said she plans to reach out to the business owner.