Police late Sunday announced the arrest of a man they say stabbed a taxi driver to death in a “brutal” attack in downtown Los Angeles over the weekend.
Friday’s 6 p.m. stabbing in the parking lot of a Burger King at Cesar E. Chavez and Grand Avenues claimed the life of 68-year-old Oganes Papazyan of Burbank, according to Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County coroner’s officials.
But detectives gathered clues, including photos of the suspect, from the crime scene, police said. They soon identified 32-year-old Victor Daniel Torres of Los Angeles as a suspect in Papazyan’s killing.
Officers spotted a man resembling the suspect Sunday in the 500 block of North Main Street, about half a mile away from the scene of the fatal stabbing, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a written statement. He was taken to a police station for questioning.
“Based upon the totality of the evidence and investigation, (Torres) was booked for murder,” the statement said.
Witnesses told KTLA he had just pulled his Yellow Cab taxi into the parking lot when two men emerged from the back of the cab. One of the men attacked Papazyan, stabbing him multiple times in the neck.
The attacker fled. Paramedics pronounced Papazyan dead at the scene.
Detectives have determined that after stabbing the victim, Torres tried, but failed, to steal the taxi cab.
“When the suspect was unable to locate the key fob, he exited and fled on foot, leaving the taxi driver to die,” according to the police statement.
LAPD Cmdr. Mark Reina commended the work of investigators.
“Great police work by your @LAPDCentralArea officers and detectives has resulted in the quick arrest of this suspect wanted for the brutal murder of a taxi driver in #DTLA this past Friday evening,” Reina posted on Twitter.
Torres’ past criminal convictions include DUI in 2007, throwing an object at a vehicle in 2015, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records. He was convicted of vandalism four times in 2016, once in 2017 and once in 2018.
Bail for Torres was set at $2 million pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, officials said.
Great police work by your @LAPDCentralArea officers and detectives has resulted in the quick arrest of this suspect wanted for the brutal murder of a taxi driver in #DTLA this past Friday evening. pic.twitter.com/GC44UlUaHz
— Commander Marc Reina (@LAPDMarcReina) November 18, 2019