LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A fourth man has died from his injuries in connection with a string of brutal attacks on homeless people in the Los Angeles area which authorities believe were perpetrated by a suspect who has been deported from the U.S. at least six times.
The victim, who was not immediately identified, was violently beaten in the early morning hours of Sept. 24 while sleeping at Seventh Street and Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica. He had been in a coma since his attack and then died Sunday, Santa Monica police Lt. Saul Rodriguez disclosed.
Ramon Escobar, 47, was arrested that same day, Sept. 24, for that attack and six others in downtown L.A. and Santa Monica dating back to Sept. 10.
Escobar is currently facing three counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder and four counts of second-degree robbery. Santa Monica police Wednesday said they will ask for an additional murder charge to be filed against Escobar for the Sept. 24 attack.
Escobar also remains a person of interest in the disappearance of his aunt and uncle in Houston, siblings Roy and Dina Escobar.
According to police, Escobar has been linked to a total of seven attacks:
— A Sept. 8 assault of a person who was sleeping on the beach in Santa Monica, with the victim treated and released from a hospital.
— A Sept. 10 attack of a man also sleeping on the Santa Monica beach in the same area, with the victim still in a coma.
— The Sept. 16 attacks of three homeless people in downtown Los Angeles, with two of those victims — Kelvin Williams, 59, and Brandon Ridout, 24, both of Los Angeles — later dying and the other remaining hospitalized in critical condition.
— The Sept. 20 fatal beating of a man, 39-year-old Steven Cruze Jr. of San Gabriel, under the Santa Monica Pier.
—The Sept. 24 attack at Seventh Street and Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reports that Escobar was homeless himself, having recently arrived in the area driving an SUV from Texas on Sept. 5, three days before the attacks began.
Escobar is an El Salvador native who was deported to that country six times between 1997 and 2011, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Back in February of 1988, he was also ordered to be deported by a federal immigration judge, according to ICE. He has six felony convictions for burglary and illegal reentry, ICE said.
In 1995, Escobar was sentenced in Harris County, Texas, to five years in prison on charges of auto burglary. According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, he was paroled in 1997 with an ICE detainer and then immediately deported, the first of six such deportations.
In November 2017, he was convicted of misdemeanor assault in Harris County. In February of this year he was convicted of criminal trespassing, also in Harris County, per court records.
According to KHOU-TV, Escobar’s aunt and uncle have been missing since late August. Roy Escobar was last seen Aug. 26, and Dina Escobar was last seen Aug. 28. Dina’s burned out van was found in Galvaston, Texas, on Aug. 30. Escobar was questioned by police in Texas that same day. Shortly after, he fled the state.
Ligia Salamanca, Dina’s daughter, told KHOU that her cousin Ramon was living with Roy at the time of their disappearance.
He remains jailed without bail. His arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 8.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)