(WARNING: Clip contains graphic language)
New footage depicting a homeless man being physically and verbally assaulted by the owner of a popular DTLA restaurant has prompted a public debate concerning the treatment of the city's homeless population.
Christian Frizzell, owner of the Redwood Bar and Grill in Downtown Los Angeles, was filmed attacking Frank Chiari, a homeless senior citizen who has been frequenting the area for more than a decade. The scuffle was filmed and uploaded to YouTube by Dylan Doren, a 31 year-old artist who was skateboarding by as the incident unfolded.
“...I got my phone out and immediately started filming. I just thought maybe if he saw that someone was filming he would be ashamed or it would be a reality check of what he was doing.”
Frizzell, however, is making certain that the ordeal is not over. He has taken to Facebook to speak out in his own defense, claiming that the incriminating pictures are misleading and do not show what led up to the actual altercation:
"My name is Christian Frizzell and I am embarrassed and saddened by the video I was sent this morning.
Frank has been coming around harassing my clients and employees for a decade. He once followed one of my female employees home.
I asked Frank to leave and when he wouldn't it got physical. Frank hit me, ripped my shirt spit on me and all I did was try to escort him away. I never attacked any one. I defended myself and restrained him in an effort to prevent any escalation of a tense situation . It's never fun to have to forcefully remove someone from your business.
The police responded to the scene and when they saw the physical evidence of the struggle asked if I wanted the suspect arrested. I declined.
I am not a bigot or a racist. I'm a small business owner who is a father of four and the allegations and alleged statements in the video are false accusations."
Some former employees of the Redwood have stepped forward to validate Frizzell's claims:
"I worked at the Redwood for many years and Frank has always had problems with Christian. Frank has slashed Christian's tires and spit at him and they have had altercations before. I trusted Frank to run errands for me until he took my money about 6 months ago and he avoided the area around the Redwood until apparently yesterday. He has been asked repeatedly to not accost the people and bands loading in and out for money. He once overheard a conversation about a get together at my house, learned my home address and came to my house one evening when I was not home and pounded on my door and peered in the windows and frightened my girlfriend who was sick and home alone."