The suspect in the deadly attack of a 70-year-old Filipino man was arrested on Thursday, July 11 after being detained in downtown Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) authorities said that Gerson Carrillo Torres, 22, has been booked on suspicion of murder with his bail set at $2 million following his arrest around 3rd and Wall Streets.
The attack of Fil-Am Julius Rondez happened the afternoon of Tuesday, July 2 around the corner of East Temple and North Alameda Streets when the assailant “hooked his right arm around the victim’s neck, striking him,” according to officials.
Photos of the assailant — who was initially suspected to be homeless — were shared following the attack and revealed a man of about 150 pounds, 5 feet 8 inches, with dark hair.
Rondez, an employee of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) for over 30 years, was on his way home before he was struck. He was quickly taken to a hospital in critical condition where he passed away the following night.
An autopsy revealed that Rondez’s death was a result of blunt head trauma from hitting his head when he fell to the ground.
According to a bulletin sent to LADWP staff, Rondez was employed as a senior commercial field representative in meter services and field operations, and was a huge fan of the Dodgers and Lakers.
In the bulletin, LADWP General Manager David H. Wright described Rondez as being someone “known for his happiness, sense of humor and one-of-a-kind personality.”
“He was kind, peaceful and a family man who took great pride in his loved ones,” he continued.
He reportedly had plans of retiring in six months.
Rondez was also getting ready to go on vacation the day he was attacked, his daughter Janice Rondez told KTLA.
“He was every to us,” added Janice. “My father didn’t deserve this. I don’t think anyone does.”
Rondez’s son Charles told local CBS Los Angeles that their father was strong for his age and enjoyed running marathons and biking every day.
Torres has not been determined homeless, but Rondez’s family also urged Los Angeles city leaders to act on the homeless crisis for the sake of safety.
Janice Rondez told CBS that their father — who was a foster child in the Philippines — would have wanted the same.
“There’s so many people on the street that have no other options because their options are getting cut,” said Janice Rondez. “Instead of being upset and angry, he would want us to tell everybody that they should help because that’s what he would’ve done.
According to an obituary posted on memorial park Forest Lawn’s website, Rondez was born in Davao City, Philippines. His funeral will be held at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California.
Rondez is survived by his wife, and his three children and five grandchildren. (Rae Ann Varona /AJPress)