What a week.
Violence erupted on our freeways. Crooks took pot shots at police officers and the cops shot back.
Someone executed an Arcadia man inside his parents’ home. The Department of Coroner attempted to sort out the details surrounding the strange death of a Pico Rivera man found dead in a Ford sedan the morning after his wedding.
Two kindly grandfathers working as car salesmen in East Los Angeles were herded into a back room and blasted. Twenty minutes later, and a block or so away, two other guys were killed in a drive-by.
Oh, and the parents of Moe the chimp encountered a purse snatcher Sunday at a Target store in West Covina.
On Wednesday afternoon, St. James and LaDonna Davis held a press conference at attorney Gloria Allred’s office in a Wilshire Boulevard highrise overlooking the Hollywood Hills to discuss the incident.
“How could she do this to me?” St. James said. “I keep asking myself ‘why, why, why do I have such bad luck?'”
This is news.
As proof, TMZ.com was streaming live and KTLA, KABC, KCBS, KCAL and KTTV all sent their heaviest hitters.
There’s a huge file of stories about Moe the chimp in the newspaper’s morgue dating back a decade or so.
Most have pictures. The saddest shows St. James Davis wailing as his “son” is carted away from the family’s West Covina home in September 1999.
The most recent mention comes from 2005. Chimps attacked and mauled St. James on the grounds of Moe’s new home, the Animal Haven Ranch in Caliente.
As a result of the attack and 60 surgeries, St. James’ face is disfigured and he is confined to a wheelchair. He could only sit and watch Sunday as LaDonna’s purse was taken from their shopping cart.
On Wednesday, 15 of my colleagues were there to chronicle this latest twist of the Davises.
After all, who doesn’t like monkeys or stories about monkeys? (Yes I know Moe’s a chimp but in a generic sense he’s a monkey.)
Monkeys are funny. It’s in their genes. Every time I think about the chain-smoking Mr. Teeny, Krusty the Clown’s sidekick on “The Simpsons,” I smile. I put Ronald Reagan right up there in the pantheon of presidents, but who can remember a single movie of his other than “Bedtime for Bonzo”?
I must admit, I stifled a grin when I saw how much attention the Davises’ case got.
In that context, who can blame Allred for using the chimp to make chumps of the local media?
“They are on a fixed income and are still coping with the life-changing consequence of the attack by the chimps,” Allred said. “LaDonna spends her days caring for St. James, feeding him, bathing him, helping him in and out of his wheelchair and taking him to doctors.”
For most of us, a purse snatching winds up with the police taking a report, and the bank and credit card companies taking their sweet time to return your lost plastic.
Don’t forget the line at the DMV taking a century or so to navigate just to get a paper license and a new picture.
I know. My wife, Rosie, and I lived this once. When our son Matthew was born at San Gabriel Valley Medical Center, he had to spend the first week of his life in the neonatal ward in an induced coma.
It’s one of those secure and supposedly clean wards of the hospital. Everyone has to scrub down. Purses and other personal items need to be left on a table away from the sick babies.
One Sunday when we were visiting the little guy, someone walked off with Rosie’s purse. I think we called in a report to the police.
Eventually the wallet came back, with a note that said, “sorry.” But the plastic and the money was gone. I guess someone needed it more than we did.
And that was that.
Maybe we would have scored it all back if Matt had been born a monkey.