29-year-old man with criminal past arrested in Santa Monica stabbing of 2 German tourists

Eric Resendiz Image
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Violent incidents in Santa Monica have residents, visitors on edge
Two German tourists were stabbed at a parking structure in Santa Monica, one of several violent incidents in the popular beach city this month.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- Multiple violent attacks this month in Santa Monica have put locals and visitors on high alert ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

The most recent attack happened Sunday night at a parking structure on 4th Street, according to the Santa Monica Police Department.

The suspect who was arrested, Larry Ameyal Cedeno, assaulted three victims in the "unprovoked" incident, police said. The 29-year-old is accused of stabbing two of those people, leaving one in critical condition. The third assault victim suffered minor injuries.

Santa Monica police said the two people who were stabbed are German tourists.

Eyewitness News has learned Cedeno had been released from jail 10 days before the stabbing. He was on probation for carjacking. His criminal history also shows he has two previous cases, one for elder abuse and another for assault with a deadly weapon. Police say he is homeless.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón's office announced Tuesday that charges had been filed against Cedeno of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. The DA's office was recommending bail of $2.155 million. Arraignment is expected Wednesday.

Local residents and visitors to the area are concerned by the incidents.

"I must say, the recent developments definitely scare me a little bit," said Santa Monica resident Lara Schwede. "Because it happens right outside my home."

Attempted rape of jogger

Police say a woman was jogging on a beach path when 48-year-old Malcolm Jimmy Ward Jr. grabbed her ponytail from behind and was dragging her in Santa Monica.

Meanwhile, Santa Monica detectives are also investigating another attack that happened May 13. In that case, a man was arrested after he allegedly attempted to rape a young woman who was jogging on a beach path.

The suspect, 48-year-old Malcolm Jimmy Ward, Jr., was taken into custody without incident. The victim, a Venice resident, was jogging on the beach path when the suspect grabbed her ponytail from behind, knocking her to the ground, authorities said. Her age was not disclosed.

Ward allegedly pulled her several feet toward the restrooms. Several good Samaritans intervened and called police, according to a news release.

The victim suffered minor injuries in the attack. She told investigators that she believed Ward intended to sexually assault her.

Schwede said that incident hits close to home for her as a woman who jogs in the area.

"I go for runs almost every day," she said. "Hearing someone who could have been me, hearing bad things happen to them is horrible. I carry pepper spray for a reason."

Benihana stabbing

Police are also investigating a stabbing that occurred on Friday, May 3 at the Benihana restaurant on 4th Street.

Police said one victim was treated at the scene and a suspect was taken into custody.

Is Santa Monica safe?

Santa Monica police say they are increasing foot patrols in the downtown, beach and surrounding areas as is their standard practice during the busy summer months.

The city's mayor says despite the high-profile incidents, Santa Monica remains safe for visitors.

"We've stepped up enforcement, stepped up patrols in all areas," Santa Monica Mayor Phil Brock said.

"I think my message is our city overall is safe."