Criminal proceedings were suspended Tuesday after a doubt was declared about the mental competency of a man charged with an alleged unprovoked attack on an Olympic silver medal-winning volleyball player.
Semeon Tesfamariam, 51, was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation shortly after being charged with a felony count of assault with a deadly weapon against Kim Glass.
The charge includes allegations that the victim suffered great bodily injury and that the defendant has a prior conviction for assault with a deadly weapon.
In a video posted on Instagram, Glass discussed the attack, which left her with a black eye and bruises last Friday.
The 37-year-old Glass said she had lunch with a friend and while they were saying goodbye, “this homeless man ran up. He had something in his hand … and he just like looked at me … and as I turned to go tell my friend I think something’s, like, wrong with him and I think he’s going to hit your car … before I knew it, a big metal bolt, like pipe, hit me.”
Glass said people in the area who saw the attack subdued the assailant and held him until police arrived.
Los Angeles police said the attack occurred around 2:30 p.m. Friday at Olive and Eighth streets. The suspect was identified as Tesfamariam, who was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, police said.
Glass said she does not believe her vision will be impacted long-term, noting she “got really great stitching from the doctor.” She said she had multiple fractures around her eye.
She urged people to “just be safe out there.”
“There’s a lot of mentally ill people on these streets right now,” she said. “You shouldn’t have to be fearful when you walk.”
Glass was an outside hitter on the 2008 U.S. Olympic women’s indoor volleyball team.
Tesfamariam was ordered to remain jailed without bail, with an Aug. 12 status hearing set in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom regarding his mental competence.