LOS ANGELES — A former Olympic volleyball player was attacked Friday in downtown Los Angeles when a man threw a metal object at her face in an assault that fractured multiple bones in her face and left one of her eyes swollen shut, the athlete said in videos posted to social media.
Kim Glass, a silver medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, had been leaving a lunch on Friday afternoon when she saw a man run up with something in his hand. He was on the other side of a car, in the street, when he threw the object — what Glass believes might have been a metal pipe or bolt — at her face.
“He just like looked at me with some pretty hateful eyes,” she said in videos posted to Instagram. “It happened so fast, he literally flung it from the street, he was not even close to me at all.”
Bystanders restrained the man — identified by police as Semeon Tesfamariam, 51 — until officers arrived to take him into custody.
Tesfamariam was booked on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon, according to Officer Drake Madison, a Los Angeles police spokesperson. He is being held without bail. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf or when he is scheduled to appear in court.
“USA Volleyball is appalled to learn of this weekend’s brutal attack on our Olympic medalist Kim Glass. Our thoughts are with her and we wish her a speedy recovery,” USA Volleyball President and CEO Jamie Davis said in a statement on Monday.
Glass, a Los Angeles native, posted videos showing her injuries to her eye, nose and cheek. She said she believes her vision will be OK and thanked a doctor for stitches near her eyebrow.
“Just be safe out there,” she said in the videos. “You shouldn’t have to be fearful when you walk.”