A man linked to a series of vicious attacks on sleeping homeless men in LA and Santa Monica had been deported six times before. Not only that, he was freed from federal custody last year following an immigration court decision,
47-year-old Ramon Alberto Escobar is being linked to three murders and four attempted murders in Southern California and the disappearance of two of his relatives from the Houston area.
He was arrested Monday after another attack on a homeless man sleeping on the beach in Santa Monica.
Police officials are calling him a “violent predator.”
ICE said on Tuesday night that Ramon Alberto Escobar had first been ordered to be removed from the United States by a federal immigration judge back in February 1988.
He was then removed to El Salvador six times between 1997 and 2011. He also has six felony convictions for burglary and illegal reentry.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said in a statement: “After illegally reentering the U.S. following his most-recent removal Alberto-Escobar filed an appeal of his immigration case with the Board of Immigration Appeals in June 2016, which the courts granted in December 2016. ICE released him from custody on an Order of Supervision in January 2017 pursuant to the court’s decision.”
ICE has now filed a detainer against the 47-year-old following Monday’s arrest. A detainer indicates U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would like to take a person into custody if he or she is released from the custody of another law enforcement agency.
Ramon Alberto Escobar is linked to a series of seven attacks on sleeping men, most of them homeless, in the Los Angeles and Santa Monica area this month. Several of the attacks were carried out using a baseball bat and at least one victims with a set of bolt cutters, police say.
Three of the victims died and one currently remains in a coma.
Police say Escobar is also linked to the disappearance of his own aunt and uncle in Houston, he was living with them at the time.
He fled Houston and drove to LA on the I-10 shortly after being questioned by police in connection with that case last month, officials said.
LA Police Department Captain William Hayes said Ramon Alberto Escobar has a criminal record that includes five years in a Texas prison from 1995 to 2000 for burglary, as well as an arrest in 2017 for assault and in February 2018 for criminal trespass.
Hayes said when police arrested Escobar on Monday, they recovered a baseball bat that they believe was used in two murders and one attempted murder in downtown Los Angeles. The bat was found in the 47-year-old’s black Honda CR-V.
When police were asked if Escobar could be called a suspected serial killer, Hayes said officials are still considering whether to use that exact term, noting that serial killer is usually defined as a suspect with three or more victims.
“He’s a violent predator,” Hayes said. “He’s preying on innocent people. In most cases our victims were asleep.”
Los Angeles and Santa Monica police plan to present their evidence to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday for filing consideration.
Escobar is being held without bail.