SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) — Authorities say a man who was arrested Monday after an assault in Santa Monica is the same person behind a string of violent attacks in downtown Los Angeles, and he may be connected to a crime spree that started in Texas.
There have been seven violent attacks in less than three weeks, including four in Santa Monica, and CBS2 learned Monday night of the disappearance of two people from Houston who may be connected to the suspect.
Ramon Escobar, 47, is a person of interest in the disappearance of Rogelio Escobar and Dina Escobar — his uncle and aunt, Houston police said.
Both went missing in late August and foul play is suspected in their disappearances, according to the Houston Police Department.
Escobar was booked on suspicion of murder and was being held without bail, according to Officer Mike Lopez of the LAPD’s Media Relations Section.
It’s still unclear if he is connected to the fatal beating of another victim under the Santa Monica Pier.
A news conference was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, when police were expected to release more details about the case.
The most recent attack was Monday when the victim suffered head injuries in an assault just before 7 a.m. in the 1500 block of 7th Street, according to Santa Monica Police Lt. Saul Rodriguez.
He was hospitalized with blunt force trauma after being treated at the scene.
Police later searched the area and arrested a man near the 600 block of Broadway, Rodriguez said.
A statement released Monday afternoon by the LAPD said investigators believe the suspect is the same person responsible for three previous violent attacks in downtown L.A. that occurred Sept. 16 between 4 and 5 a.m.
Police later released surveillance video of a man suspected in those attacks, all of which investigators said were carried out with a baseball bat.
It’s unclear whether the suspect is also linked to the fatal beating of a man under the Santa Monica Pier last week.
Steve Cruze Jr. was murdered while sleeping under the Santa Monica Pier. While Cruze was initially described by authorities as homeless, Cruze’s family told reporters that was not the case.
Cruze’s murder followed the deaths of two homeless men who were beaten and robbed in downtown Los Angeles early on the morning of Sept. 16. Their names have not been released. A third victim, also a homeless man, was hospitalized in critical condition with severe head trauma.
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