Homeless Man Arrested in Attack on Venice Boy Is Suspected of Assaulting Girl in Santa Monica

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Police arrested a homeless man March 14 who is suspected of assaulting a 6-year-old girl March 10 in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Police say 23-year-old Ashante Lamar Morgan was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department Thursday in Venice following a similar attack on a child in that city.

Mr. Morgan was arrested at about 11:15 a.m. Thursday on suspicion of assaulting a 7-year-old boy on the 1800 block of Ocean Front Walk, LAPD Officer David Cuellar told California Insider.

He remained in custody but has not yet been booked, according to Mr. Cuellar.

Santa Monica police detectives are working with the LAPD to combine the cases and present them to the Los Angeles County District Attorney, “aiming for a swift filing of felony child abuse charges,” Santa Monica Police Spokeswoman Lt. Erika Aklufi told California Insider.

The girl and her family were walking with a friend down Main Street in Santa Monica Sunday evening when the attack occurred, according to the friend, Christina Tullock, of Venice.

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The group was eating ice cream and chatting when a homeless man sitting at a bus stop reached out and punched the girl in the face. The girl fell to the ground.

The man was disheveled and wild-eyed, Ms. Tullock told California Insider, and screamed at the group before fleeing. Ms. Tullock tried to chase after him for about a block, she said.

The girl, who was not seriously injured, is doing OK but is still shaken from the attack, Ms. Tullock said.

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