The family of a 76-year-old father of seven who was beaten to death over a bicycle in East Los Angeles joined authorities Wednesday in asking the public for help catching his killer.
Santos Castro, who suffered from dementia, walked away from his Montebello home on Aug. 18 and ended up in front of a Carl’s Jr. Restaurant in the 5600 block of Whittier Boulevard (map), Lt. Steve Jauch of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said during a news conference Wednesday.
At some point, Castro became involved in a struggle over a bicycle with an unknown Hispanic man. Castro was punched several times and then knocked to the ground, Jauch said.
Castro sustained blunt force trauma to the head and was taken to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, where he died just hours after the assault, a Sheriff’s Department news release stated.
The man wanted in the beating left the scene on the bicycle, which did not belong to Castro, according to his granddaughter.
“He was beaten for no apparent reason. He was the most kind and loving man in the whole world,” the granddaughter said.
Castro, a Navy veteran, liked to do magic tricks, was funny and loved to sing, family members said.
The man wanted by authorities was seen on surveillance video taken from inside the Carl’s Jr. prior to the incident, according to Jauch.
“This person is still out there. … If he did this to my grandpa, he could do it to anybody else,” a second granddaughter said.
Castro is survived by his wife Leandra Castro, three sisters, four brothers and seven children.
“I can’t be without him. He was such a good guy. He was so good, that’s all I can say. ... I love my husband,” Leandra Castro said through her tears.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
Tipsters can contact L.A. Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or by texting "TIPLA" plus the tip to 274637 (CRIMES). More information is available on www.LACrimeStoppers.org.