[UPDATED] A tip from the public helped authorities find and arrest a man Tuesday who was suspected of assaulting an elderly couple in a seemingly random attack in Old Pasadena last week, leaving one of them dead and the other injured, authorities said.
Oscar Villamil, 43, was booked on suspicion of murder and attempted murder after he was taken into custody about 8:40 a.m. near the Fillmore Gold Line Station, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
A tipster riding a train recognized Villamil from a wanted flier and notified the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, Lt. Mario Ortiz said. Villamil was taken into custody without a struggle by deputies and turned over to the Pasadena Police Department.
Investigators had been looking for him since Dec. 29, when they said he approached and attacked a married Pasadena couple in their 80s as they crossed the street about 7:45 a.m. at Colorado Boulevard and Arroyo Parkway, police said at the time.
Without any apparent provocation, Villamil “punched and kicked an elderly couple as they set out for their morning walk,” police said in a written statement.
Both victims suffered head injuries, Pasadena police Lt. Sean Dawkins said.
The woman, who fell from a 4-foot-tall ledge during the attack, was hospitalized with injuries described as life-threatening, police initially said.
Pui Gee Ng Lee, 80, of Pasadena succumbed to her injuries at a hospital on Tuesday morning, according to Carrillo.
The elderly man injured in the attack suffered injuries described as minor and had since been released from hospital care, according to Lt. Jesse Carrillo. Police had previously said the male victim remained hospitalized on Wednesday.
Police expressed gratitude to the public for its help in apprehending Villamil. “Thank you to everyone who provided information in the attempt to locate the suspect,” according to the statement.
Bail for Villamil, described as a local transient, was set at $2 million pending his initial appearance in the Pasadena branch of L.A. County Superior Court, scheduled Thursday.
According to L.A. County Superior Court records, Villamil already had a lengthy and violent criminal history.
He was awaiting trial on two counts of battery at the time of his arrest, records show.
Prior convictions include battery committed by an inmate on a non-inmate, vandalism and assault of a custody officials by “gassing,” a term used to describe assaulting jail staff with bodily fluids, in 2019, according to court records.
He was convicted of assault, battery and battery on a peace officer in 2016, as well as battery, assault with a deadly weapon, receiving stolen property and providing false identification to police in 2015.
Records list a conviction for annoying or molesting a child in 2013, along with two separate battery convictions and a conviction for child endangerment in 2010.
Villamil was also convicted of vandalism in 2007, solicitation to commit a lewd act in public in 2006 and DUI in 2003, records show.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at (626) 744-4501. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.