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Suspect Arrested for Assault Monday in Santa Monica Could Be Responsible for String of Murders
By Jorge Casuso
September 25, 2018 -- A suspect arrested for assaulting a man in Santa Monica early Monday morning could be responsible for three murders and three other attempted murders in Los Angeles and Santa Monica this month, authorities said.
The victim was found at around 7 a.m. Monday on the 1500 block of 7th Street "unconscious and suffering from injuries to the head consistent with blunt force trauma," according to Santa Monica Police.
The victim was treated at the scene by Fire Department paramedics and transported to a local hospital for treatment, Santa Monica police said.
The injuries were consistent with those suffered by the three homeless victims in Los Angeles who were struck in the head with a baseball bat between 4 and 5 a.m. September 16.
Blunt force trauma to the head also caused the death of a man whose body was found under the Santa Monica Pier after an overnight fishing trip Thursday morning ("Homicide Victim Found Under Santa Monica Pier Was Not Homeless, Authorities Say," September 24, 2018).
Earlier this month, two homeless men were assaulted in a similar manner on September 8 and 10, said Lt. Saul Rodriguez, the Police Department spokesman.
The victim of the later assault remains hospitalized in critical condition, he said.
SMPD did not issue press releases concerning the attacks.
The suspect in Monday's assault, identified by authorities as Ramon Escobar, 47, was located in the 600 block of Broadway in Downtown Santa Monica later that morning and arrested.
"As officers searched the area, a possible male suspect was located in the 600 block of Broadway Avenue," SMPD said.
"Following a preliminary investigation by SMPD Detectives, the suspect has been placed under arrest."
Escobar was booked on suspicion of murder and is being held without bail, according to LAPD’s Media Relations Section.
In a media advisory, LAPD said Santa Monica Police detectives believe Escobar is the suspect responsible for the murder of two homeless men and the attempted murder of a third in Downtown Los Angeles.
In a press release issued Monday, Santa Monica Police said "any link between today’s incident and the previous assaults in Santa Monica and Los Angeles has not been confirmed.
"SMPD Detectives continue to work closely with the Los Angeles Police Department for any connections," the release said.
Escobar is also a person of interest in the disappearance of his uncle, Rogelio Escobar, and aunt, Dina Escobar, Houston police said.
The couple has not been seen since late August and foul play is suspected in their disappearances, according to the Houston Police Department.
LAPD will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Anyone with information on the Santa Monica assaults should call Detective Leone at (310) 458-8943; Detective Goodwin at (310) 458-8942 or the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8491.
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