By Lookout Staff
January 8, 2013 -- Santa Monica police are seeking information concerning an incident that was erroneously believed to be a “knockout game” assault Downtown last month.
The December 11 assault on the 300 block of Santa Monica Boulevard was preceded by an exchange of words between the victim and his assailant, said Sgt. Jay Moroso, the Police Department spokesman.
“Information was released to the press indicating that this incident was the result of a type of an assault called the 'knockout game' in which unsuspecting victims are punched from behind, without provocation, in an attempt to knock them out,” Moroso said.
“The police investigation revealed that this was not the case in this assault,” he said.
Press reports also erroneously indicated that police officers stood by after the assault and did not arrest the suspect, who was standing 30 feet away, Moroso said.
“Police arrived on scene to find that the subject had already fled the area,” he said. “Despite the fact that the assailant fled, officers continued to search for him and arrested a suspect three hours after the assault.”
The suspect, who was arrested near 4th Street and Wilshire Boulevard, “made statements indicating that he may have been involved in the assault,” Moroso said.
According to police, the suspect had a warrant issued for his arrest.
Police investigators have contacted the victim and are waiting for visual confirmation that the individual in custody is the assailant before charges are filed, Moroso said.
The assault took place at 10:15 p.m. on December 11 while the victim was waking with a friend westbound on Santa Monica Boulevard, according to police.
The victim told officers that he was assaulted “after the subject approached him, cursed at him, and tried to instigate a fight with him,” Moroso said.
The victim said that he did not want to fight the subject, “so he and his friend continued walking,” Moroso said. “The subject followed them and ‘sucker punched’ the victim from behind, knocking him to the ground.”
A witness told responding officers that the suspect “walked across the street and stood there until the police started to arrive, at which time he fled,” Moroso said.
The victim sustained a one and a half inch laceration above his right eye, according to police. Paramedics treated him at the scene.
Anyone with information regarding this assault should call Detective Soto at 310.458.8218 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) at 310.458.8495
Those who wish to remain anonymous can call WeTip at 1-800-78-CRIME (1-800-78-27463), or submit the tip online at www.wetip.com. Those who provide information leading to an arrest will be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.