A proposal to ban picketing outside Manhattan Beach homes is being considered at the request of a disgruntled real estate executive, who claims an angry throbbing mob outside his home scared him earlier this year, the Daily Breeze reported.
Greg Geiser, the CEO of Wedgewood Inc., a Redondo Beach real estate company, was targeted by protestors after he allegedly forced a Rialto couple out of their home, which his company had purchased out of foreclosure. They accused him of unfairly raising the price of the property when the couple tried to buy it back. He denied the allegation.
Either way, the incident appears to have rattled Geiser.
“My neighbors were terrified as the situation was explosive and was one rock toss away from being a full-fledged riot,” he said at a July 5 council meeting.
The picketing ordinance would make it a misdemeanor to picket within 150 feet of a target’s home or within 75 feet of his or her property line.
Councilwoman Amy Howorth, said she was in favor of passing the ordinance, which is being modified to ensure that it does not infringe on Freedom of Speech rights.
“You have sports figures, CEOs of companies, doctors that do ground-breaking biomedical research — you have all kinds of people that now can be identified by social media and 100 people can show up,” she said. [Daily Breeze] — Katherine Clarke