SANTA MONICA—On April 21, the Santa Monica Police Department arrested a suspect who refused to leave Virginia Avenue Park. Justin Palmer, 46, was taken into custody after authorities spotted the suspect whose vehicle was parked at the electric vehicle charging station after 11 p.m.

Palmer was asked multiple times to leave the park which was closed, but refused, which prompted officers to issue a citation for violating the city’s park closure law. When he was asked to provide identification, he refused after multiple requests and was placed under arrest for violation of the municipal park closure ordinance and delaying and obstructing an officer in the course of his duties.

The suspect actively resisted arrest by officers, which resulted in officers using pepper spray and having to physically restrain him. Palmer was taken to the Santa Monica Public Safety Facility where he was fingerprinted and booked.  He complained from pain while being detained at the Santa Monica Jail where he was taken to a Santa Monica hospital for treatment and medically cleared. He was then issued a citation and released from custody.

The Santa Monica Police Department randomly conducts administrative reviews that involve the use of force. Anyone who witnessed the arrest is asked to contact Captain Wendell Shirley from the Operations Division at (310) 458-8952.  The SMPD regularly conducts scheduled checks of public parks throughout the city.