Police Say Man Arrested In Brutal Attack In Santa Monica May Be Tied To Beating Deaths In Downtown LA
A man arrested in connection to a brutal beating in Santa Monica on Monday may be tied to deadly attacks on homeless men sleeping in downtown Los Angeles earlier this month, according to police.
The arrest came after a string of beatings that authorities said shared similarities.
The latest attack was reported Monday just before 7 a.m. when Santa Monica police were called to 7th Street and Broadway Avenue, according to a statement from Santa Monica Police Department. There they found a man who was unconscious but alive. The victim, whose head injuries police said were consistent with blunt force trauma, was taken to the hospital.
A search of the area turned up a possible suspect, who was placed under arrest on suspicion of the assault.
Three homeless men found beaten in downtown L.A. on Sunday, Sept. 16 were also hit in the head, as was another man who had been sleeping under the pier in Santa Monica late last week.
In the first incident, which happened in the early morning hours, three homeless men were beaten with a baseball bat. Two of the men later died.
The LAPD released surveillance video showing a man they described as having a notable "bow-legged" gait and asking for the public's help in identifying him.
On Thursday, a man was found dead under the Santa Monica's famous pier, also with injuries consistent with blunt force trauma to the head. Police at first said the victim appeared to be homeless, but the family later told the L.A. Times he had been sleeping on the beach after an overnight fishing trip.
Investigators were at first cautious about drawing any connections among the three cases, but LAPD officials said via Twitter that detectives believe the person arrested Monday was also responsible for the downtown L.A. attacks.
Today LAPD Detectives were contacted by @SantaMonicaPD regarding a suspect they had in custody. Detectives believe this is the suspect responsible for the murder of two men & the attempt murder of another in Downtown LA. Details will be provided at tomorrow’s 3pm news conference https://t.co/o4YqtXXjZg— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) September 24, 2018
There was not word yet from the Santa Monica police on whether they believed the man in custody was also connected to the victim found under the pier.
More details are expected at a news conference at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Brian Frank contributed to this report.