Career criminal ‘targeted’ LA Mayor Karen Bass’s home and was convicted in violent hammer attack years ago

The burglar who “targeted” Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass’ home during an early morning burglary over the weekend is a career criminal who was previously convicted in a brutal beating in Massachusetts.

Mayor Bass, her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchild were sleeping inside the official mayoral residence on April 21 when a rear glass door was smashed by Ephraim Matthew Hunter at around 6:40 a.m.

Hunter, 29, was bloodied after allegedly breaking the rear door, causing between $5,000 and $10,000 worth of damage, the LA District Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday.

Police responded to the scene and arrested Hunter within minutes of the glass breaking.

“I’m profoundly relieved that Mayor Karen Bass and her family emerged unharmed in this recent home break-in. The safety and security of all residents, including public officials, remain paramount in our community,” District Attorney George Gascón said in the press release.

LA Mayor Karen Bass walks out of the Getty House after her official residences was broken into during an early morning burglary on April 21, 2024. KABC

“While we’re grateful for their physical safety, this violent intrusion will not be tolerated. We’re fully committed to ensuring that the perpetrator is swiftly brought to justice and held accountable for his actions.”

Gascón said Hunter’s actions showed he knew Bass was inside Getty House, the official residence of the mayor of LA, at the time of the burglary.

“We believe he was targeting the mayor,” Gascón said, according to KABC.

Hunter used a gap in the security shift to sneak onto the property.

Hunter “jumped over the fence quickly, and was able to break in through the back of the house. And to my understanding, this happened so quickly that even if somebody had been there, he probably still would have been able to access the inside of the residence.” interim LAPD Chief Dominic Choi said according to KTTV.

No additional details on Hunter’s motive, nor if he had intended to harm Bass were provided.

Getty House is located on South Irving Boulevard in Windsor Square, nearly five miles west of Los Angeles City Hall. Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Police patrol outside of the Getty House a day after the alleged burglary on April 22, 2024 on Los Angeles. Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Getty House is located on South Irving Boulevard in Windsor Square, nearly five miles west of Los Angeles City Hall.

Hunter was previously arrested in 2015 after four men beat another man up with a hammer during a violent early morning attack in Millis, Massachusetts, appropriately 19 miles from Boston, according to CBS Boston.

He was sentenced to 5-7 years in prison and has since moved to Los Angeles, where he currently lives.

Hunter’s family opposed the DA’s belief saying he suffers from mental problems and thought he was in danger and sought refuge.

LA Mayor Karen Bass, her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter were inside the home at the time of the burglary. AFP via Getty Images

“My son is losing his mind,” Hunter’s mother Josephine Duah told the Daily Mail. “He thought people were chasing him and he ran into that house randomly. He wasn’t trying to break into the mayor’s house.

“Thank God it wasn’t someone who would’ve pulled a gun and shot him because he was just trying to run away from someone he thought was trying to get him. 

“He didn’t know where he was and what he was doing. The truth is, he needs mental help,” the mother added.

Hunter was charged with felony first-degree residential burglary with a person present and vandalism of $400 or more in damage or destruction of property, both felonies.

He is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

If convicted Hunter faces a maximum of 13 years and 4 months in prison.

He is due back in court on May 6 for a scheduled preliminary hearing.

No additional details on Hunter’s motive, nor if he had intended to harm Bass were provided. KABC

Sunday’s burglary is the second time in the last two years Bass was the victim of a home break in.

During her campaign in 2022, two men stole a pair of handguns from her house in Baldwin Vista, bypassing cash and electronics and stealing the weapons, according to the LA Times.

The two thieves, Patricio Munoz and Juan Espinoza, pleaded no contest to burglary and grand theft and were sentenced to two years and 32 months in prison, respectively.

Police arrested Hunter within minutes of the rear glass door shattering. Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Security cameras sit on the side of the Getty House as police patrol the property on April 22, 2024. KABC

Crime in Los Angeles continues to rise as Gascón’s soft-on-crime approach to court cases becomes an increased burden on the California city.

The DA has barred prosecutors from pursuing advanced punishments for gang members and has enacted a series of criminal justice directives since taking office in 2020 that have drawn scorn from opponents and many in law enforcement.

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