Transient smacks SLO business owner in the face

April 28, 2015
Benjamin Mich Strickland

Benjamin Mich Strickland

A 39-year-old man allegedly struck a business owner on the 600 block of Higuera Street in downtown San Luis Obispo Tuesday afternoon.

Shortly before 3 p.m., Benjamin Mich Strickland allegedly hit the business owner in the mouth. The attacker then fled the area by foot, according to a San Luis Obispo Police Department news release.

Officers located the Strickland about three blocks away. Police say Strickland is a transient resident of San Luis Obispo who has a history of violent assaults in the downtown area.

On Tuesday, officers arrested Strickland for battery and booked him in San Luis Obispo County Jail. His bail is set at $2,000.

Strickland’s previous encounters with police included charges of assault with a deadly weapon and battery causing great bodily injury in 2013.


As long as Sup Hill’s wife is in the business of serving the homeless,

he and his are going to keep given’ us the business.

He is not looking to work her out of a job.


I don’t like Adam Hill either but this is wild speculation that is irrelevant to the subject of this article. No one wants people like this around — not even Hill and his spouse. The problem comes with finding a way to get rid of them that is constitutional and that does not hurt those who share homeless status but don’t share the attitude or whatever it is that makes idiots like this act out.

Dirk Anderson

Thank you.

I have encountered this Strickland “wing nut” in the community, several times in

Public Library. These people seem to get a special prerogative to be jerks

and ruin things for everyone else. I’m sure I will encounter him again. These

types of degenerates are obvious to me? What the problem with this Police Force

is? I don’t know. That goes for the drug dealers, users etc. are they blind or what?

Obviously, much of this has to do with this farcical war on drugs.

I don’t like Adam Hill or his wife either. Although I myself do share this “homeless”

status, most of them are nothing I would care to associate with (goes for the

rest of the community also).

Personally, I will stand up for my rights and won’t take any crap from those in

the community who see this as an opportunity to unload their trash on the

homeless, keyboard jockey or not.

fishing village

$2000, huh?, doesn’t seem like enough for a dangerous person. He needs to stay in jail for the welfare of the rest of the SLO citizens!


DUI with minor injury is 50-$100,000 bail, because we want to send a message that this behavior will not be tolerated, not that the guy (girl) is not going to show up for court. No message to be sent here. Go ahead, keep offending, and they don’t show up for court. Whataya going to do? It’s not like they’re going to lose their JOB, and certainly not their benefits.


Being smacked in the mouth by dirty nasty homeless hand? Ewwww!! What if he had a cut on his hand?


“Strickland’s previous encounters with police included charges of assault with a deadly weapon and battery causing great bodily injury in 2013.” These sound like felonies to me but were probably plea-bargained down to a very minor misdemeanor and he was let off without any jail time. Too bad – if these had been pursued by the DA perhaps he’d be in prison under three strikes. How many chances does this deadbeat get? How many citizens will he beat up before law enforcement wakes up? Sounds to me like a lawsuit against the city.

If he is from out of the county, why can’t he be shipped to wherever his home is, and under the plea bargain/probation terms,he is not to return here for at least three years (term of probation) or he will go to jail? If we won’t imprison him,let’s at least get him out of here. Come to think of it, that might be a way to get all these bums out of here – arrested, charged, let go on three years’ probation and given a one-way ticket home and no return her for duration of probation.


How long does a person have to live here before qualifying as a local — even if officially homeless? This guy has apparently been here for at least 2 years. He may even be a long-time resident. I would bet that he is either mentally ill, has a substance abuse problem or both. We can either pay for his treatment by bringing back more institutions for mental health, by putting him in prison for a long time or by suffering the costs of his actions when he is let out on the street after serving whatever time he gets for this. There is no CHEAP option to dealing with him. (Even $1 worth of ammo would be an invitation to much bigger legal expenses.) As for shipping him elsewhere, unless he is a very recent immigrant, I suspect that there would be no legal way to do so against his will. In the long run, such a policy would likely backfire anyway as other areas either shipped him back or sent their own troublemakers to us in retaliation. As bad as he is, there are worse out there. I would not want LA City or County sending those that anger them to us.


Assault is ALWAYS plead down to nothing. It is not taken seriously.


I like SLO. I really do. But I don’t miss this garbage. These aren’t homeless, per se. These folks are quite intelligent, in knowing that they can come to the area and not only get a free ride, but that the community will bend over backwards for them. I moved from SLO city in ’11, all the while knowing I surely wouldn’t miss downtown walks complete with hecklers on every corner.


Well put. SLO is the new destination resort for the homeless. Doesn’t help that the City of Santa Cruz was in the proven practice of buying them bus tickets to here.


I have heard this about Santa Cruz (& Bako & Vegas) before but don’t know if it is just an urban myth or if there is verifiable proof of it. Do you have a link or reference?


No. But I have heard it from SLO police officers over many years. Doubt they’d risk their jobs going on record. And just today a SB City employee told me that both SB and Ventura officers are “equipped” with non-refundable Greyhound tickets to each others jurisdiction to be used at their discretion to cut down on costs. The $25 does not even cover 15 minutes of an officer’s time. How many “tickets” did an officer issue no longer refers to traffic or parking violations (the LEAST of their worries).


So sick of this. Bring back the vagrancy laws.


It is not the fault of the SLOPD. You should place blame squarely where it belongs, the city council and the non-profit leaches that infest our local governments.


Funny, I thought it was the police departments job to keep violent people off the streets. I certainly would not give the SLOPD a pass of this, but agree there is plenty of blame to go around, SLOPD, city council and supervisors for wasting tons of tax money on CAPSLO. It clearly could be spent better than a so called agency that claims to help the homeless but mainly help themselves.

Dirk Anderson

CAPSLO has a County Wide operating budget of 50-60 million.

Only a small fraction is for the homeless.

This County has missed a golden opportunity to reasonably accommodate

the homeless and benefit the community. Now you’re screwed no matter what

you do, or how much money and resources you throw at the problem.

The worst thing you can do is throw them all together at the Prado or

shelter. They (we) are generally all different. A number of the “homeless”

at the Prado and shelter are “locals” some of them are the most problematic.

The root of the problem is an excessively micro managed community of:

unimaginative, near sighted, itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny, bean counters and

Admin clerks; and much of that is corrupt at that.

You could not pay me enough to permanently stay in this insulting, snotty,

ignorant, culturally backward community. When I leave, I’ll leave.