Valeska Quinonez, owner of Salon 500 in downtown Long Beach, said that in the nine years she has worked there, she has never felt more unsafe.
“It’s gotten out of control, completely out of control,” she said.
Quinonez said on Wednesday around 2 p.m., a man approached the living room window and exposed himself for about five minutes.
“My client was coming in and she noticed someone was behind her, so she kind of ran into the living room,” she said. “Then the gentleman was in front of the window. He had his hands in his pants and he wouldn’t stop.”
The Long Beach Police Department released an update on the case on Thursday, saying the suspect was arrested and booked into the Long Beach City Jail.
Quinonez said this was just one of many incidents at his business.
“The salon was broken into by homeless people, they took a lot of my products and one of my employees was sexually assaulted,” Quinonez said.
She said the sexual assault took place on October 20.
The woman was walking near the corner of Broadway and Linden when she passed a passerby sitting on the sidewalk. As she passes, he gets up and, with his pants open, approaches her from behind and lifts her skirt, rubbing against her. He then throws her to the ground.
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“She went to get some food and all of a sudden she came around the corner and this guy was sexually assaulting her,” said Rachel Delgado, a hairstylist at the salon.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office initially declined to file criminal charges in the case, but new information, including a new witness, could change that.
“New information has been developed and it is being reviewed again by the team that made the initial decision, and once we make a final decision, we will make it public,” the Los Angeles County district attorney said , George Gascón, during a recent press conference. .
Quinonez said the incidents are not only affecting her employees, but she now fears for the safety of other businesses and customers in the area.
“I think we’re really getting to the boiling point where something needs to be done,” said Brooke Berry-Vanderpool, who works at Paper Crane Studio in Inglewood.
Meanwhile, Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson has pledged additional resources to help.