SANTA MONICA—Charges were filed against Melvin Taylor, 65, from Compton, for his role in an attempted robbery and assault against an Asian woman on Tuesday, July 27 by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The attack has been classified a hate crime by the Santa Monica Police Department, according to Lt. Rudy Flores of the SMPD. Taylor has been classified as a transient by authorities.

On July 23, 2021 at about 2:15 p.m., officers responded to investigate an in-progress assault and battery in the 1500 block of 2nd Street. Officers arrived within minutes and immediately detained Taylor.

The victim explained that she was with her father-in-law and was attempting to pay at a parking meter when she was confronted by Taylor who asked about her ethnicity and demanded money. When the victim refused to give him money, Taylor became verbally and visibly upset.

Melvin Taylor. Photo courtesy of SMPD.

After the victim tried to get back into her car, Taylor kicked the car door causing the victim to be pinned between the door and frame of the vehicle. He continued to strike he victim while yelling racial slurs. The victim was able to pepper spray Taylor, but  it had little effect. Taylor took the victim’s phone and threw it on the ground before unsuccessfully trying to take her purse. Nearby witnesses assisted the victim until officers arrived.

The Los Angeles County’s District Attorney’s Office charged Taylor with the following:

  • 664/211 PC – Attempted Robbery
  • 245(a)(1) PC – Assault with a Deadly Weapon
  • 245(a)(4) PC – Assault likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury
  • 422.75(a) PC – Hate Crime allegation enhancement

Anyone with any additional information related to this incident is asked to contact Detective Burciaga with the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) at (310) 458-8932 or by email at