A 32-year-old homeless man who was previously convicted of assault was arrested Tuesday, June 5th, in connection to the fatal beating of another homeless man in Palisades Park in Santa Monica early Sunday, June 3rd, police said.
Santa Monica police detectives arrested Joshua Dante Chiaromonte at the Superior Court Airport Courthouse for the alleged murder of 37-year-old Reza Homabadi Tehrani, who was found dead with head injuries on a bench in Palisades Park June 3rd, Santa Monica police Lt. Alex Padilla said.
A Los Angeles County Coroner spokesman said Tehrani died due to cranial and cerebral trauma.
Padilla said police recovered a three-foot metal pipe that is believed to have been used in the fatal beating of Tehrani.
The case was expected to be filed with the county District Attorney’s Office Wednesday, June 6th.
A man who was walking in Palisades Park shortly before 8 a.m. June 3rd saw Tehrani with blood on his face lying on a bench near the Senior Recreation Center in the 1500 block of the park and notified police, Padilla said.
When officers arrived at the scene they determined that the victim was dead. Tehrani had suffered blunt-force trauma to the head, including a “big gash on his forehead,” Padilla said.
It is unknown how long Tehrani had been dead before being discovered and police are awaiting the results of a coroner’s autopsy to determine the exact time of death.
An employee at the adjacent Senior Center said the facility opens at 11 a.m. Sundays, and as of Monday, June 4th, no employees or visitors had reported seeing anything suspicious in the area.
Santa Monica police detectives were able to identify Chiaromonte Monday, June 4th, after reviewing public video footage from cameras in the Santa Monica downtown area, Padilla said.
“Utilizing those cameras we were able to capture an image of the suspect,” Padilla said.
A photograph of the suspect was put on a police bulletin and officers assigned to the Third Street Promenade detail were able to identify him.
Chiaromonte is also allegedly responsible for another assault and attempted murder of a homeless man in the 200 block of Santa Monica Boulevard earlier in the day at 2 a.m. June 3rd, police said. The 59-year-old victim in that alleged assault, who also suffered from blunt-force trauma, was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, Padilla said.
In December, Chiaromonte was charged and convicted of a similar assault on a homeless victim in Santa Monica, he said. After serving time in jail, Chiaromonte was released and placed on probation.
Santa Monica police arrested Chiaromonte for trespassing and probation violation at 6 a.m. June 3rd and took him to the Superior Court Airport Courthouse, where he was later arrested following the investigation into the death of Tehrani, Padilla said.
Padilla said no potential motives are being ruled out in Tehrani’s death.
“At this point nothing is being ruled out,” Padilla said.
Palisades Park is frequented by pedestrians, runners and cyclists, even early in the day, and police are asking any potential witnesses to the incident to contact the police department.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Santa Monica Police Department Robbery-Homicide Unit at (310) 458-8451, or the watch commander’s office at (310) 458-8427.