A Los Angeles man was charged with assault with a deadly weapon on Tuesday for allegedly attacking Olympian Kim Glass with a metal bolt last week, causing serious injuries to her face, embattled Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced.
Semeon Tesfamariam, 51, was previously convicted for felony assault in 2018 and again in 2019, but was out on parole after a state prison term when he allegedly attacked Glass.
“This was a brutal, unprovoked attack,” Gascón said Tuesday. “Mr. Tesfamariam has a troubling history of attacking apparently random people with dangerous weapons. His behavior appears to have escalated with time.”
Tesfamariam is accused of randomly throwing a 10-inch metal bolt at Glass’s face while she was walking near a homeless camp in Los Angeles.
Glass, who won a silver medal with the U.S. women’s volleyball team in 2008, detailed the attack in a social media post, showing her badly bruised nose and a gash on the left side of her nose.
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“As I was leaving lunch, I was outside saying goodbye to a friend and this homeless man ran up. He had something in his hand, he was on the side of the car in the street, and he just like looked at me with some pretty hateful eyes and as I go to tell my friend I think something is wrong with him, before I knew it a big metal bolt like pipe hit me. It happened so fast, he literally flung it from the street,” Glass said on Monday.
Bystanders who witnessed the attack helped detain Tesfamariam until police arrived. He is currently being held without bail ahead of a hearing on Aug. 17 and faces up to 11 years in prison if convicted.
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Violent crime is up 8.2% in Los Angeles this year, with aggravated assaults jumping 5%, according to LAPD data.
Gascón, who took office in 2020, has faced withering criticism for the crime surge and reforms he put in place.
A campaign to recall the beleaguered district attorney submitted several thousand more signatures than was needed by the deadline last week, potentially putting the recall question on the ballot in November.
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Gascón, meanwhile, has defended the reforms he’s implemented, saying in a fundraising email last week that the recall campaign could “reverse all our progress.”
Former San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin, who has implemented policies similar to those of Gascón and oversaw a similar rise in crime in that city, was ousted in a recall campaign earlier this year.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano and Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.